Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
December 13, 2005
BASEBALL: How Old Is He?
Well, with the Mets signing Julio Franco to a contract that runs through age 48, it's time to play "how old is Julio Franco"?
*He was drafted by the Phillies in 1978. Players acquired or traded by the Phillies that year included Davey Johnson, Pete Rose, Jay Johnstone, Gene Garber, Ted Sizemore, Butch Metzger and Joe Charboneau.
*Franco was acquired by the Indians in the Von Hayes deal, along with, among others, Manny Trillo.
*Franco's double play partner in Cleveland, Tony Bernazard, is an assistant to Omar Minaya. Bernazard had a 10-year career in the major leagues and retired 14 years ago.
*Franco is a friend of George W. Bush, who attended Franco's wedding. Franco is closer in age to Bush than he is to Mets veterans Pedro Martinez and Carlos Delgado. He's also older than Bill Clinton was when Clinton was elected president, and the same age as Theodore Roosevelt when he was re-elected as president.
*Franco was born in 1958. Other players born that year include Alan Trammell, Mike Scioscia, Dave Righetti, Wade Boggs, Dickie Thon, Alan Wiggins, Orel Hershiser, Neil Allen, Scott Holman, Tim Leary, Teddy Higuera, Atlee Hammaker, Bruce Hurst, Joe Cowley, Marty Bystrom, Nelson Norman, Dan Petry, Tim Teufel, Walt Terrell, and Rafael Santana.
*Franco is older than Harold Baines and Tim Raines. He's two years older than Cal Ripken, Kent Hrbek, Andy Van Slyke, Frank Viola and Fernando Valenzuela. He's three years older than Kirby Puckett and John Kruk. He's four years older than Bo Jackson. He's five years older than Ozzie Guillen. He's six years older than Dwight Gooden. He's nine years older than Robin Ventura.
*Franco is older than Lawrence Taylor, Marcus Allen, Magic Johnson, Ronnie Lott, Freeman McNeil. He's two years older than Eric Dickerson, Ralph Sampson and Joe Morris, three years older than Isiah Thomas, Terry Cummings, Dan Marino and Boomer Esiason, four years older than Patrick Ewing and five years older than Charles Barkley and Al Toon.
*Hall of Famers Christy Mathewson, Lou Gehrig, Roberto Clemente, Tony Lazzeri, Addie Joss, Ross Youngs, Arky Vaughan, Ed Delahanty, Buck Ewing, Pud Galvin, John Clarkson, King Kelly, Rube Waddell, Frank Chance and Old Hoss Radbourn were all dead by the age Franco will be when his contract is up.
*Franco in 2006 will be the same age Sandy Koufax was . . . in 1983.