Independent league team cuts Rafael Palmeiro

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

In 2018, Rafael Palmeiro made it known that he wanted to return to MLB. But if the comeback is going to continue, he’ll need to find a new road.

On Wednesday, William Weinbaum of ESPN reported that Palmeiro and his son, Patrick, were both released by the Cleburne Railroaders.

“The independent Amer. Assn. Cleburne Railroaders announced on the eve of the season the release of Rafael Palmeiro, 54, and son Patrick, 29 — both were with the team last year,” Weinbaum said. “The father batted .301 & hit 6 HRs, but battled injuries and had offseason knee surgery, in his effort to return to MLB as a player for the first time since 2005.”

Palmeiro did enjoy some success in 2018. But obviously, a 54-year-old getting anywhere near the majors was always going to be a long shot. The injuries make the task even harder.

Palmeiro finished his MLB career in 2005 as a career .288/.371/.515 hitter. In his career, he had amassed 3,020 hits and 569 home runs. At the time, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Eddie Murray were the only players with over 3,000 hits and 500 homers (Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez have since joined).

Until that 2005 season, he was on a sure Hall of Fame track. But a positive PED test that year effectively squashed his chances. He was first eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2011 and in 2014, didn’t receive enough support to even remain on the ballot.