Retired Major League Baseball (MLB) star Rafael Palmeiro says he is considering a return to professional sports.
“There’s no doubt in my mind I can do it,” he said in an interview published by The Athletic Wednesday.
“I’ve taken care of myself really well,” added Palmeiro, who is 53 and last wore a MLB uniform in 2005. “I’ve been working out for years. Everything feels better than when I played.”
Palmeiro noted he believes he could earn a job in spring training rather than work his way up through the minor leagues.
USA Today on Wednesday reported that the oldest position player to regularly play at the MLB level was Julio Franco, who exited the league in 2007 at 49.
Palmeiro played as both a first baseman and a left fielder during his MLB tenure spanning from 1986 to 2005.
The four-time All Star recorded 3,020 hits and 569 home runs during that same span, which ended with his suspension 12 years ago.
Palmeiro was suspended in 2005 after testing positive for anabolic steroids, and he retired shortly thereafter.
The baseball player was named in the 2007 Mitchell Report, former Sen. George Mitchell’s (D-ME) account of his 20-month investigation into MLB’s performance-enhancing drug use.
The Mitchell Report documented the league’s anabolic steroid and human growth hormone (HGH) history, and Palmeiro strongly denied he took the former substance after its publication.
“I have never used steroids, period,” he told a Congressional panel five months before his suspension in 2005.
Palmeiro said in Wednesday’s interview that he believes he could still make an impact for a MLB team.
The professional athlete also stated that he believes a comeback would help him clear his name from MLB’s steroid scandal.
“Maybe 12 years later, if I can come back and prove I don’t need anything as an older player with an older body, then people might think, ‘OK, maybe he didn’t do anything intentionally,’” he said.