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75-year old man starring on East Haven baseball team
- Updated: July 16, 2013
It’s like something out of the movies.
Ralph Franco has been one of the top players on the East Haven Jorels since he first joined the over 30 mens league back in the early ’90s.
And at age 75, yes you heard me right, at age 75…. he still continues to not only amaze but inspire his teammates every Sunday…
“He’s amazing, we’re talking about a guy only four years younger than my father coming out, and he’s one of the top players on the team,” said Paul Carroza of Middlebury.
“He’s the starting rightfielder, he’s one of our better hitters, and he can run better than most of the guys on the team,” said one of his teammates.
“He runs out to his position and he embarrasses us sometimes because we’ll take a play off and he never does,” said another.
Franco, who is affectionately referred to as “the King” by his teammates, didn’t start playing baseball until he was 16.
He played at HillhouseHigh School in New Haven and even had a couple of major league tryouts.
“My senior year they held a tryout at BeardsleyPark in Bridgeport as I remember, and unfortunately that day the outfielders threw a better distance than I did,” Franco said.
Getting Franco to talk about himself is about as hard as his slide into second base.
“But enough about me, I love these guys, I’ve been with these guys since the tail end of ’91,” he said.
And over the last 22 years his teammates say he hasn’t slown down a bit.
“We thought twenty years ago he was old, and now that most of us are in our 50’s, you know he’s 75 it’s just ridiculous,” said one teammate.