LAST WEEK the
Braves released 48-year-old Julio Franco, whose career has been as interesting
as it has been lengthy.
JUNE 23, 1978
The Phillies sign 19-year-old Dominican shortstop Franco as a free agent.
OCT. 24, 1981
Nationals reliever Beltran Perez is born.
APRIL 23, 1982
A 155-pound Franco goes 1 for 4 against the Cardinals in his big league
APRIL 25, 1982
Franco walks against Jim Kaat, who faced Ted Williams on the final day of the
1959 season. ( Franco was the last remaining player to face a pitcher who faced
After being traded to the Indians, Franco arrives in Cleveland with no coat,
$5,000 stuffed into a sock and one question, "Where are the
NOV. 23, 1983
In his first full season, finishes second to Chicago's Ron Kittle for AL Rookie
of the Year.
Finds a Muscle magazine in the Cleveland clubhouse and soon becomes a fitness
APRIL 19, 1985
After beating the Yankees with a homer, Franco repairs to a friend's joint in
the Bronx: "The next day was my brother's birthday. After the game, we
began to celebrate." Franco misses the next day's game. "Back then I
was wild," he says years later. "Very wild."
Mild-mannered Tribe manager Doc Edwards tells the team he won't return in 1990
if Franco—who has a habit of bringing his rottweiler and snake to the
stadium—is still on the team. Franco is soon traded to the Rangers.