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The ageless wonder

At 45 and still swinging the bat with authority, there's no end in sight for the seemingly ageless Julio Franco.

Originally Published: April 15, 2004
By Tim Kurkjian | ESPN The Magazine

Julio Franco was a 155-pound shortstop who hit rockets to the opposite field for the Philadelphia Phillies' Class A Peninsula team in 1980. Twenty-four years later, at age 45, he is a thick, muscled backup first baseman who hits rockets to the opposite field for the Atlanta Braves. And now Franco's goal is to play until he's 50, which seems preposterous until he removes his shirt.

"Just look at him,'' says teammate Chipper Jones. "He's in better shape than anyone on our team.''

Franco ...

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