If Baseball truly is an International game, then we would like to name Julio Franco as its Global Ambassador.
The Dominican born Franco, played Baseball professionally until the age of 47 in the United States, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and his home country. Cooperstown does not recognize accomplishments abroad, but despite playing outside of the Majors for an extended period of time, he still amassed over 2,500 hits. Franco had a strange batting stance, but considering he batted over .300 eight times, a Batting Title and five Silver Sluggers, it had to be considered effective.
Entering his first year of Hall of Fame eligibility, Julio Franco may be the ultimate test of whether the Baseball Hall of Fame would reward durability over what is considered traditionally great by Baseball standards.
The Bullet Points: Country of Origin: Hato Mayor del Ray, Dominican Republic
Eligible Since: 2012
Position: SS, 2B, 1B & DH
Played for: Philadelphia Phillies Cleveland Indians Texas Rangers Chicago White Sox Milwaukee Brewers Tampa Bay Devil Rays Atlanta Braves New York Mets
Major Accolades and Awards: 3 Time All Star (1989, 1990 & 1991) All Star Game MVP (1) (1990) Highest Batting Average (1) (AL) (1991) Highest WAR for Position Players (1) (AL) (1994)
Other Points of Note: Top Ten MVP Finishes: (AL: 1994, 8th) 4 Top Ten Finishes (Batting Average) 4 Top Ten Finishes (On Base Percentage) 2 Top Ten Finishes (Slugging Percentage) 2 Top Ten Finishes (Runs Scored) 5 Top Ten Finishes (Most Hits) 2 Top Ten Finishes (Triples) 1 Top Ten Finish (Runs Batted In) 1 Top Ten Finishes (Walks) 4 Top Ten Finishes (Stolen Bases) 3 Top Ten Finishes (WAR for Position Players) 2 Top Ten Finishes (OPS)
Notable All Time Rankings: 46. Games Played: 2,527 82. Hits: 2,586 86. At Bats: 8,677 Vote Percentage Received for the Hall of Fame: N/A