Rafael Palmeiro had an impressive baseball career. During his playing career, he was well-respected by fans and players across the league, but toward the end of his career, that all changed.
A look at Rafael Palmeiro’s career
After having a successful three years at Mississippi State University, the Chicago Cubs drafted him in the first round of the 1985 draft. He went on to sign with the team and made his MLB debut during the 1986 season. During that season, he played in 22 games and finished with a .247 batting average. The next season he saw action in more games, playing in 84 and finished with a .276 batting average.
Palmeiro played in Chicago for three seasons, and in his final season with the Cubs, he was named to his first all-star team. He went on to finish the season batting .307 with 178 hits and eight home runs. He was traded to the Texas Rangers after his time in Chicago. When he joined the Rangers, he primarily played first base and was used as a designated hitter. Palmeiro continued to show improvement as a member of the Rangers. During the 1990 season, he led the American League in hits with 191 and finished with a batting average of .319.
He made his second all-star team during the 1991 season, and he went on to lead the AL in doubles that season with 49. Palmeiro spent five seasons in Texas before signing with the Baltimore Orioles. He signed a five-year contract worth more than $30 million. Palmeiro was one of the top players in the league when he played for the Orioles, and he won his first Gold Glove in 1997.
Rafael Palmeiro’s second stint with the Rangers and Orioles
Palmeiro played with the Rangers and Orioles ON two occasions over the course of his career. During his second stint with the Rangers, he won the Silver Slugger award, Gold Glove award, and was named to the all-star team all in the same year. The 1999 season was one of the best seasons of his career. He finished batting .324, which was a career-high, and he had a career-high in home runs with 47.
Palmeiro finished his final two seasons playing for the Orioles in 2004 and 2005. At the end of his career, he batted .288 with 3,020 hits, 569 home runs, and 1,835 RBIs. He is only one of six players to be a member of the 500 home run club and the 3,000 hit club. A few days after he recorded his 3,000th hit, he received a 10-game suspension for testing positive for an anabolic steroid. That’s when people’s perception of him quickly changed.
After his time in the MLB, Palmeiro signed with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. He played in one game with the Skeeters on September 18, 2015. In 2018, Palmeiro announced that he wanted to return to the MLB. Palmeiro and his son Patrick signed with the Cleburne Railroaders of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. On May 22, 2018, Palmeiro hit his first home run since July of 2005. He only played in 31 games due to injuries and batted .301 with six home runs and 22 RBIs.
Rafael Palmeiro’s use of steroids
In 2005, Palmeiro’s former teammate, Jose Canseco said that Palmeiro was a fellow steroid user in his book. Palmeiro denied that he used steroids, and in August 2005, he was suspended for testing positive for a steroid.
Even though he tested positive, Palmeiro continued to deny the fact that he took steroids. Palmeiro had a good MLB career, and reports that he took steroids tainted his career in a way, and people were unsure if he took steroids.