Rafael Palmeiro wants to pull a Minnie Minoso as a 50-plus major leaguer

Vinnie Duber
NBC Sports Chicago
<p>Rafael Palmeiro says he wants to make a big league comeback at age 53. He&#39;d still be a year shy of Minnie Minoso, who appeared in two games as a 54-year-old.</p>

Rafael Palmeiro wants to pull a Minnie Minoso as a 50-plus major leaguer

Rafael Palmeiro says he wants to make a big league comeback at age 53. He'd still be a year shy of Minnie Minoso, who appeared in two games as a 54-year-old.

Rafael Palmeiro wants to pull a Minnie Minoso.

The former big league slugger told The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal that he wants to make a comeback. Palmeiro is 53 years old.

As of right now, Minoso, a White Sox legend, is the fourth-oldest player to appear in a Major League Baseball game. He appeared five times after turning 50: three in 1976 and two more in 1980. He was 54 for those final two games. Only 57-year-old Nick Altrock, 58-year-old Charley O'Leary and 59-year-old Satchel Paige were older.

The 54-year-old Minoso went 0-for-2 in a pair of White Sox wins over the California Angels in October 1980. But as a 50-year-old in September 1976, he picked up one base hit in eight at-bats during three games against, again, the Angels.

Palmeiro has put up some of baseball's best offensive numbers, 13th on the all-time home runs list with 569 and 28th on the all-time hits list with 3,020. But a comeback seems mighty unlikely. According to Rosenthal, Palmeiro "does not sound willing to take any sort of indirect path to the majors," which you would figure would severely hamper his chances if he can't prove to big league execs that he can still hit.

Plus, Palmeiro - who played 20 big league seasons with the Cubs, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles - of course has other obstacles to a comeback other than just being old by baseball standards. He famously denied using performance-enhancing drugs in front of Congress, only to test positive for an anabolic steroid and receive a suspension a few months later.

If, somehow, Palmeiro works past all of that, he'd be just the seventh player ever to play past age 50 and the first player to do it since Minoso did it nearly 40 years ago.

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