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Rafael Palmeiro clobbers homer in Texas Independent League game -- at 53

By Alex Butler
Rafael Palmeiro clobbers homer in Texas Independent League game -- at 53
Former Baltimore Orioles slugger Rafael Palmeiro takes batting practice prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2005 at Orioles Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Md. File photo by Mark Goldman/UPI | License Photo

May 22 (UPI) -- Major League Baseball legend Rafael Palmeiro, 53, made a spark in his pro baseball comeback bid, hitting a homer for the Cleburne Railroaders.

Palmeiro went deep for the Railroaders in the fifth inning of an American Association of Independent Professional Baseball contest against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.

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The Railroaders were tied 2-2 in the bottom of the inning when Palmeiro walked up to the plate. He fouled off a pitch and took a ball, before hacking away at the third offering. Palmeiro sent the pitch deep to right center field. The RedHawks outfielders barely moved, watching the baseball carry over the fence.

Palmeiro went 2-for-4 on the day with an RBI. He is hitting .167 on the season. His son Patrick Palmeiro went 0-for-5, but is hitting .333 this season for the Railroaders.

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The elder Palmeiro hit .288 with 569 home runs during his 20-year MLB tenure. Palmeiro's final season came at age 40 with the Baltimore Orioles.

The Railroaders lost Monday's bout 4-3 in 11 innings at The Depot at Cleburne Stadium in Cleburne, Texas.

Palmeiro made his debut for the club on Friday. He grounded out to first base in his first at-bat. He finished the game going 0-for-4 against the Winnipeg Goldeyes.

"My timing is off, obviously. But it felt good," Palmeiro told reporters after that performance.

"It's gonna take a little time."

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The longtime Texas Rangers infielder told The Bat Around podcast that he hopes to advance into Minor League Baseball.

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"I definitely would like to maybe get picked up," Palmeiro said. "I'm not doing this just to prove to myself that I can play at a Double-A level, let's say, for instance. That's kind of the type of players that I'm playing with [at Cleburne]. These are young guys. I knew that I could do that. I just want to show enough that maybe someone will give me a chance and give me an opportunity, maybe get back in the minor leagues and work my way up."

The Railroaders host the RedHawks again at 7:06 p.m. Tuesday in Cleburne.

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