Rafael Palmeiro
Palmeiro swing2
First Baseman
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB Debut
September 8, 1986 for the Chicago Cubs
Final game
October 1, 2005 for the Baltimore Orioles
Career Statistics
AVG     .288
HR     569
Hits     3020
Career Highlights and Awards

Rafael Palmeiro Corrales (born September 24, 1964 in Havana, Cuba) was a Major League Baseball player with a career spanning 20 years, 1986 to 2005.

Palmeiro was an All-American at Mississippi State University before being drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1985. His major league debut came on September 8, 1986 with the Cubs. He played three seasons with the Cubs (1986-1988), ten seasons with the Texas Rangers (1989-1993, 1999-2003), and 7 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles (1994-1998, 2004-2005). He was named to the All-Star Team four times, and won the Gold Glove three times. He is a member of the exclusive 500 home run club and the 3000 hit club and is only the fourth player in history to be a member of both. He ranks tenth in history with 569 home runs. Palmeiro's cousin, Orlando Palmeiro, is an outfielder with the Houston Astros.


Palmeiro debuted on September 8, 1986 in a game between the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field, as a left fielder.[1] During his tenure with the Cubs, he normally played left field, though occasionally he would play other outfield positions or first base. Palmeiro was the runner up to National League batting champion Tony Gwynn in 1988 with a .307 batting average, only six points below Gwynn's. After the 1988 season, Palmeiro was traded by the Cubs to the Texas Rangers along with Jamie Moyer and Drew Hall in exchange for Mitch Williams, Paul Kilgus, Steve Wilson, Curt Wilkerson, Luis Benitez, and Pablo Delgado.

Upon moving to the American League, Palmeiro was primarily used as a first baseman or designated hitter. Palmeiro blossomed as a hitter while with the Rangers, leading the league in hits in 1990 and doubles in 1991. In 1990, he was third in the American League in batting.

Prior to Palmeiro's 1995 season, he had hit more than thirty home runs only once (37 in 1993). Starting in 1995, Palmeiro began a streak of 38+ home run years that continued through the 2003 season. He hit 373 home runs during this nine-season span, while also driving in over 100 runs in each of these seasons. However, Palmeiro never led the league in home runs, and is history's most prolific home run hitter to have never won the home run crown. Palmeiro's 9 consecutive years with 38+ home runs set the record - breaking record of 7 consecutive years by Babe Ruth (1926-1932).

On May 11, 2003, Palmeiro hit his 500th home run off of David Elder in a game against the Cleveland Indians. Two years later, Palmeiro joined Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Eddie Murray as the only 4 players in major league history to get 3,000 hits and 500 home runs when he got his 3,000th base hit off of Joel Pineiro during a game against the Seattle Mariners on July 15 , 2005. Because most of Palmeiro's home runs came with the Rangers and Orioles, he is one of only four players in history to hit over 200 home runs for two different clubs. Palmeiro hit the only home run yielded by Yankee relief ace Mariano Rivera in 107 2/3 innings in 1996.

Palmeiro has played in 2,831 major league games, the most by any player who has never played in the World Series. His 1999 Gold Glove Award is regarded by many as controversial, because he won the award despite playing only 28 games at first base that season.[2] [3] He played most of his games that year as a designated hitter.

Palmeiro filed for free agency on October 29, 2005, indicating he would attempt to play his 20th season in baseball. As of 2007, he has not signed or played with any team.

Speculation of a comebackEdit

On January 7, 2007, the Boston Globe newspaper reported, upon speculation, that Palmeiro wants to make a comeback.[4] The comeback did not take place.


Former Rangers teammate José Canseco identified Palmeiro as a fellow steroid user in his 2005 book, Juiced, and claimed he personally injected Palmeiro with steroids. On March 17, 2005, Palmeiro appeared at a Congressional hearing about steroids in baseball and, while under oath, denied ever using steroids, pointing his finger and stating, "Let me start by telling you this: I have never used steroids, period."[5]

On August 1, 2005, Palmeiro was suspended for ten days after testing positive for steroids.[6] In a public statement, Palmeiro disclosed that an appeal of the suspension had already been denied. He released a statement saying, "I have never intentionally used steroids. Never. Ever. Period. Ultimately, although I never intentionally put a banned substance into my body, the independent arbitrator ruled that I had to be suspended under the terms of the program."[7] It should be noted that all of his previous tests were negative, and a test he took just three weeks after his positive test was also negative.[8]

The Washington Post reported that the steroid detected in Palmeiro's system was a "serious" one.[9] According to The New York Times, Palmeiro tested positive for the potent anabolic steroid stanozolol, the same substance Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson of Canada took in 1988 when he was stripped of the gold medal at the Seoul Summer Olympics.[10] Palmeiro returned to Camden Yards following his 10-day suspension on August 11, 2005, although he did not play in the lineup until August 14. Coincidentally, this was the date that had been planned as "Rafael Palmeiro Appreciation Day" in celebration of his 500-home run, 3,000-hit milestone. It was canceled after Palmeiro's suspension. Palmeiro famously inserted earplugs in his ears to drown out the loud boos of the fans during a subsequent game in Toronto against the Blue Jays.[11]

The Baltimore Sun reported that Palmeiro never offered an explanation for his positive test to the MLB arbitration panel, which ran contrary to his public statements.[12] ESPN later reported that Palmeiro implicated Miguel Tejada to baseball's arbitration panel, suggesting a supplement provided to him by Tejada was responsible for his positive test. This supplement was simply vitamin B12, though the needle could have theoretically been tainted.[13]

On November 10, 2005, ESPN reported that the House Government Reform Committee would not seek perjury charges against Palmeiro.[14]

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

Preceded by:
John Olerud
American League Player of the Month
July 1993
Succeeded by:
Frank Thomas
Preceded by:
Bernie Williams
American League Player of the Month
June 1998
Succeeded by:
Albert Belle
Preceded by:
Nomar Garciaparra
American League Player of the Month
June 1999
Succeeded by:
Joe Randa
Preceded by:
Joe Randa
American League Player of the Month
August 1999 (with Iván Rodríguez)
Succeeded by:
Albert Belle