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Julio Franco trying to get a few more hits at age 55 for independent Fort Worth Cats

FORT WORTH, Texas - Julio Franco is going to try to get a few more hits at age 55.

Franco is joining the Fort Worth Cats of the independent United League as a player-coach for their first homestand. He played in the major leagues until age 49.

The season opener is Tuesday, starting a nine-game homestand.

Franco played parts of 23 major league seasons for eight teams from 1982-2007, with stints in Japan, Mexico and South Korea during that time. He was a three-time All-Star and won the 1991 American League batting title while with the Texas Rangers from 1989-93. He was the oldest active player in the majors when he played his last game for Atlanta in 2007.

He had more than 4,200 hits in professional baseball before announcing his retirement in May 2008 while in the Mexican League.

"I love Fort Worth and I'm very excited about the opportunity to work with the younger players and entertain the fans," Franco said.

The Cats are the same team that brought Jose Canseco back at the start of last season when the former slugger was 48. Canseco hit .238 (5 for 21) with one home run and seven RBIs in six games for Fort Worth.

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