At 53 years of age, MLB first baseman Rafael Palmeiro believes he has what it takes to make a comeback, despite that fact that he has been out of MLB for more than 12 years.
“There’s no doubt in my mind I can do it,” Palmeiro told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. “I’ve taken care of myself really well. I’ve been working out for years. Everything feels better than when I played.”
The four-time All-Star is originally from Cuba and in his heyday, was one of the most consistent hitters in the whole of baseball. In a career that spanned over two decades, Palmeiro played for both the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. But it was his time with the Chicago Cubs that really set him apart.
With 569 homes runs to his name, the All-Star won three consecutive Golden Glove Awards and even won Silver Slugger Awards, one in 1998 and the other in 1999. The truth is that Palmeiro still believes in his abilities.
What makes his self-belief even more profound is that he previously ended his career after testing positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol in 2005. He received a 10-day suspension that “basically destroyed” him. However, he admits that he didn’t realize the substances were performance-enhancing.
“Maybe 12 years later, I can prove to the whole world that I didn’t need anything to have a good career,” Palmeiro said. “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.'”
It is still unclear though whether Palmeiro could actually return to his coveted first base position. One thing is for sure though, it would be an incredible story. Palmeiro thinks that it would be his biggest achievement if he could return to play at baseball’s highest level.