Rafael Palmeiro, 54, signs an independent league contract

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Back in December, Rafael Palmeiro, who last played major league baseball in 2005, told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic that he was thinking about trying to return to the majors. We all had a laugh — it was a very Uncle Rico-in-“Napoleon Dynamite”-kind of deal — but, obviously, that was and is never going to happen.

Palmeiro is now 54 and he still wants to play baseball. He’s just a lot more realistic about it than he was a few months back. From the Dallas Morning News:

Palmeiro said Tuesday night that he had agreed to play for the Cleburne Railroaders of the independent American Association where he will team with his oldest son, Patrick. Cleburne is scheduled to open it’s season on May 18 against the Winnipeg Gold Eyes.

For what it’s worth, Cleburne is about 40 miles south of Fort Worth.

This is not the first time Palmeiro has suited up to play with his son. Back in 2015 he played for the indy Sugar Land Skeeters.

He’s not hurting anyone. Heck, he’s probably helping the Cleburne Railroaders.

Dodgers to retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 this summer

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LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire the No. 34 jersey of pitcher Fernando Valenzuela during a three-day celebration this summer.

Valenzuela was part of two World Series champion teams, winning the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards. He was a six-time All-Star during his 11 seasons in Los Angeles from 1980-90.

He will be honored from Aug. 11-13 when the Dodgers host Colorado.

Valenzuela will join Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale with retired numbers.

“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said. “But also for the fans, the support they’ve given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them.”