Rafael Palmeiro, 53, will play for independent-league team in Texas

Former Mississippi State star Rafael Palmeiro signs deal to play professional baseball at 53

The 4-time MLB All-Star has agreed to play for the Cleburne Railroaders of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. Part of it stems from the way his career ended in disgrace, with teams shunning him after he was suspended in August 2005 for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

"Maybe 12 years later, if I can come back and prove I don't need anything as an older player with an older body, then people might think, OK, maybe he didn't do anything intentionally", Palmeiro told The Athletic in December.

It was not clear exactly how much the elder Palmeiro will play or what his role will be for the Railroaders. He memorably told a congressional panel that "I have never used steroids, period" but months later tested positive for stanozolol. He fell off of the Hall of Fame ballot in 2014 after getting less than 5 percent of the vote. He had two stints with both the Rangers and Orioles, his only other teams.

He told the Morning News in his text Tuesday, "Nobody gave me a chance to go to spring training, so I will just take this path".

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Palmeiro indicated during the winter his desire for the chance at an Major League Baseball comeback.

As insane as it sounds, Palmeiro is thinking about trying to return to the majors.

Palmeiro returned from his suspension and played in seven more games for the Orioles before retiring in September that year. He hit.236 with 11 homers and 49 RBIs in 110 games previous year for Southern Maryland in the Atlantic League.



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