Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Happy Birthday former Ranger-Met-Brave-Escogido player Julio Franco, feliz cumpleaños Dominicano Julio Franco

The Big League Stew rightfully gave big ups to one of the Dominican Baseball Guy's favorite players of all time this week, as Julio Franco turned 53 years old today.  The Dominican Baseball Guy first became a fan of Julio Franco during his early years with the Texas Rangers.  He pushed .400 one year, and was considered one of the top five players in the game during these years from 1989-1991.

He had 2,586 career hits in MLB, but had over 4,000 in his career while playing in several leagues.  He obviously spent some time in the minors as everyone does, but also played in Japan, Mexico, and in the best winter league around-the Dominican League of Winter Baseball (LIDOM) for Escogido.

Franco may be best know for his crazy over the head batting stance.  Kindred spirit of The Dominican Baseball Guy, The Batting Stance Guy, does perhaps one of his best impressions of Franco here.

After 2500 MLB games and God knows how many total games, Julio still has the hunger to be involved in the game.  Since his retirement in 2008, he has managed in the Mets minor league system as well as managing in the Venezuelan winter league.  He hopes to eventually get a big league gig as a manager for an MLB team.

Franco is from San Pedro de Macoris, the cradle of shortstops.  The Dominican Baseball Guy comments on San Pedro seemingly weekly, because the talent never stops flowing out of this baseball capital in the Dominican Republic.  See the tag for more on San Pedro de Macoris, the hometown of Alfredo Griffin, Robinson Cano, and Franco, among many more.

Happy Birthday Julio!
Julio Franco with the Atlanta Braves in 2006

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