RAILROADERS SIGN RAFAEL PALMEIRO, SON

RAILROADERS SIGN RAFAEL PALMEIRO, SON

(Via Railroaders) CLEBURNE, Texas – The Cleburne Railroaders have signed former Major League great Rafael Palmeiro and his son Patrick Palmeiro, the club announced Wednesday.

Rafael Palmeiro, 53, is one of only six members of the distinguished 500-homer, 3,000-hit club, joining the likes of Hank Aaron, Alex Rodriguez, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray and now Albert Pujols.

“I’m actually excited about the opportunity to get back on the field again,” Rafael Palmeiro said. “I’ve been working really hard to get ready for this, but I’m
Photo: Cleburne Railroaders (Patrick left, Rafael right) especially excited to get to do this with my son Patrick. I’m excited to have the  opportunity to play with him and have fun and see what happens.”

During a 20-year big-league career from 1986 to 2005, Palmeiro slashed .288/.371/.515 with 569 homers and 1,835 RBI. He played in 2,831 Major League games for the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles, and scored 100+ runs in four seasons while eclipsing 40 homers four times in five years from 1998-2002.

A four-time All-Star, Palmeiro won three consecutive Gold Gloves and two straight Silver Sluggers and drove in 100+ runs in nine consecutive seasons from 1995-2003. Palmeiro also played 150+ games in 15 of his 20 Major League seasons, hitting 160 four times and all 162 twice. He sits 19th all-time in games played, and only Robin Yount and Craig Biggio have played more games than Palmeiro in 20 or fewer seasons.

Palmeiro did appear in one game with Sugar Land (Texas, Atlantic League) in 2015, playing alongside Patrick and finishing 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. He was drafted out of Mississippi State by the Cubs in the first round of the 1985 MLB Draft, and played 270 minor-league games during an accelerated rise to the big leagues.

Patrick Palmeiro, 28, has played each of the last three seasons in independent baseball and reached Single-A Kannapolis (Chicago White Sox) in 2013. He was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 22nd round of the 2008 MLB Draft out of Colley­­­ville (TX) Heritage High School.

“We’re excited to bring both Rafael and Patrick aboard,” said general manager Bill Adams. “This is an exciting time for the city of Cleburne, the Cleburne Railroaders and the American Association.”

As a lefty, Palmeiro featured primarily at first base while mixing in starts as a designated hitter late in his career.

An introductory press conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 10 at The Depot. All media are invited to attend but also asked to RSVP ahead of the conference. For any and all media inquiries regarding the signing of Palmeiro or the press conference, please email Michael Dixon at mdixon@railroaderbaseball.com.

The Railroaders open their second season with a three-game series against the two-time defending champion Winnipeg Goldeyes May 18 at The Depot. Season tickets and single-game tickets are on sale now by visiting www.railroaderbaseball.com or by calling (817) 945-8705.