Julio Franco hits at age 55 in independent league

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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Julio Franco can still hit at age 55.

Franco, the three-time All-Star and former American League batting champion, went 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored Tuesday night in his first game for the Fort Worth Cats of the independent United League. He is a player-coach during the Cats’ season-opening nine-game homestand.

At 49, Franco was the oldest active player in the majors when he played his last game for Atlanta in 2007. He has now played professionally in five different decades, starting in the minors in 1978 at age 19.

Franco played parts of 23 major league seasons for eight teams from 1982-2007, with stints in Japan, Mexico and South Korea during that time.

He has more than 4,200 hits in professional baseball.

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