Former major leaguer Julio Franco will begin turning back time once again next week.
Franco, who turns 56 on Aug. 23, signed a deal to play in the first homestand for the independent Fort Worth Cats.
Franco will serve as a player-coach for the Cats starting Tuesday when they begin their season with a game against the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings. Franco is slated to play in nine games.
Franco, who will throw out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers game Sunday, played for eight major-league teams over a 23-year career. His career started as a 23-year-old with Phillies in 1982 and ended in 2007 when he hit a combined .222 for the New York Mets and Atlanta as a 48-year-old.
Franco ended his career with 2,586 hits, 173 homers, 1,194 RBI, 281 stolen bases and three trips to the All-Star Game. He won the American League batting title for Texas when he hit .341 in 1991. The right-handed Dominican Republic native played five season with the Rangers from 1989-93, hitting .307 with 55 homers and 331 RBI.
In addition to his time in the majors, Franco also played in Japan, Korea and Mexico.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to play and coach in Fort Worth and reconnect with my friends, former teammates and Texas Rangers staff members,” Franco said on the Cats’ website. “I love Fort Worth and I’m very excited about the opportunity to work with the younger players and entertain the fans.”