Rafael Palmeiro signs with the Sugar Land Skeeters to play ball with his son

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This is fun. The Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League have signed 50-year-old Rafael Palmeiro to a contract. He’s doing it to join his oldest son, Patrick, for the final three games of the Skeeters’ season.

Palmeiro’s last appearance in Major League Baseball was on August 30, 2005 for the Baltimore Orioles. Before that all he did was hit 569 homers and notch 3,020 hits, making him only the fourth 500/3,000 player in history along with Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Eddie Murray (A-Rod joined the club this year). Until Palmeiro tested positive for PEDs during the 2005 season and became something of a disgraced figure due to that and his controversial congressional testimony earlier that summer, he was considered an almost certain Hall of Famer.

I presume that most of you will mock this or trash this news somehow because of the way Palmeiro’s career ended. I get that. But it’s times like these that I prefer to remember that the guy was a great ballplayer. And, more importantly, that he is a human being who loves his family. Kudos to the Skeeters for giving him the opportunity to do something a lot of fathers dream about. And kudos to them for giving fans — way fewer of whom give a rip about the PED stuff than people think — a chance to see something neat.

Which, in a lot of ways is the purpose of independent baseball in the first place.