FILE - In this Thursday, May 10, 2018, file photo, the Cleburne Railroaders mascot, Spike, left, poses with former Major League Baseball player and newly-signed player Rafael Palmeiro, right, after a news conference where Palmeiro was introduced in Cleburne, Texas. Palmeiro still has power, even at 53. After hitting more than 500 home runs in the major leagues, Palmeiro homered Monday, May 21, 2018, for the first time in his return to baseball with the independent Cleburne Railroaders. (AP Photo/Stephen Hawkins, File)

At age 53, Palmeiro hits 1st home run in return to baseball

May 22, 2018 - 1:24 am
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CLEBURNE, Texas (AP) — Rafael Palmeiro still has power, even at 53.

After hitting more than 500 home runs in the major leagues, Palmeiro went deep Monday night for the first time in his return to baseball with an independent team.

He connected in the fifth inning for the Cleburne Railroaders , who went on to a 4-3 loss in 11 innings against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.

Starting for the first time this season at first base, where he spent the majority of his 20-year big league career, Palmeiro batted sixth in the lineup, right behind his son, Patrick. The elder Palmeiro got his first two hits of the season after going 0 for 8 in his first two games for the second-year American Association team.

Rafael Palmeiro hit the last of his 569 major league home runs on July 30, 2005, while playing his final season for Baltimore. He was suspended for using steroids two days later and has never come close to Hall of Fame induction despite being one of only six players in MLB history with 3,000 hits and 500 home runs.

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