Monday, May 15, 2023

Old Guys in Minor League Baseball

Recently, I shared my mini-collection of players who appeared in a MLB game at age 50 or older, a list of just six players. I don't know of a comprehensive list of minor league players who played in their 50s, so the list I'm providing here is undoubtedly incomplete. Please let me know if you know of any missing players who played in affiliated or independent minor league baseball in their 50s. I'd greatly appreciate your assistance!

Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe

Last Appearance: 1999 (age 96) 

Double Duty earned his nickname after pitching one game of a doubleheader and catching another. The Schaumburg Flyers brought Radcliffe in for a token appearance in 1999, allowing him to throw a single pitch in a game. According to his biography, Radcliffe also played for the Winnipeg Giants during his age 50 season in 1952.

Bill Lee

Last Appearance: 2012 (age 65)

Lee has played a lot of baseball since his MLB days. The last appearance in organized baseball I could find was Lee's appearance in 2014 pitching a game for the Sonoma Stompers of the independent Pacific Association. 

Julio Franco

Last Appearance: 2014 (age 55)

Franco had a long major league career that ended at age 49. He later played in seven games for the Fort Worth Cats of the independent United League in 2014.

Joe McGinnity

Last Appearance: 1925 (age 54)

"Iron Man" McGinnity last pitched for the Springfield Senators of the Class B Illinois-Indiana-Iowa League in 1925.

Rafael Palmeiro

Last Appearance: 2018 (age 53)

Palmeiro last played for the Cleburne Railroaders of the independent Northern League in 2018. He joined his son Patrick on the roster and appeared in 31 games, batting .301. His team came to Fargo to play that season, but I believe he was on the bench for the game I attended that year when the Redhawks played against Cleburne.

Jose Canseco

Last Appearance: 2018 (age 53)

Canseco made several token minor league appearances after age 50. The final time, he played in a three-game series for the Normal Cornbelters of the independent Frontier League in 2018, going hitless in three at-bats, striking out each time. 

Arlie Latham

Last Appearance: 1911 (age 51)

At age 49, Latham appeared in a few games for the New York Giants in 1909, a year in which he served as the team's third base coach. After the 1911 season, he appeared in an exhibition series for the Giants played in Cuba, so that's why I'm including him here. 

James "Truck" Hannah

Last Appearance: 1940 (age 51)

Hannah's last appearance was with the Memphis Chickasaws of the Class A1 Southern Association. He was born in North Dakota, which is the reason I have this 1931 Zeenut card. I also have an autograph collection of native North Dakotans who have played in the major leagues, and Hannah is included in that collection:

Roger Clemens

Last Appearance: 2012 (age 50)

Clemens pitched in two games for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League in 2012.

Hod Lisenbee

Last Appearance: 1949 (age 50)

Lisenbee pitched in 13 games for the Class D Clarksville Colts of the Kentucky-Illinois-Tennessee League in 1949. 

Grover Hartley

Last Appearance: 1939 (age 50)

Hartley caught one game for the Class D Findlay Oilers of the Ohio State League in 1939.

I'm still on the lookout for cards for these two players:

  • Norman "Kid" Elberfeld - made a pinch-hit appearance at age 61 with the Fulton Eagles of the Class D Kentucky-Illinois-Tennessee (Kitty) League in 1936.
  • Ollie Pickering - last appeared at age 52 with the Paducah Indians of the Class D Kentucky-Illinois-Tennessee (Kitty) League in 1922.

I primarily used for this research, so if you know of any of these players playing later than what I reported here, please let me know! Also, if you know of any other 50+ year olds that have played in the minors, feel free to drop a comment below. 


  1. I know Pat Jordan pitched in the Independant Leagues after 50. Not sure if he has cards. It also mentions on the wiki link that Hub Kittle also did, and I believe he does have cards.

    1. Thanks Jeremy! I was able to find cards for Hub Kittle, so added to my wantlist.

  2. I came across someone a couple of months ago while trying to do research for a Beavers post that would fit this list, unfortunately I can't remember now who it was. I'll have to make a note to tell you who it was if/when I come across him again.

    1. It's not the guy I was talking about, but in the book I'm currently reading, Jim O'Rourke is mentioned catching in the minors until he was 60. Looks like he has some cards too.

    2. There's also Hub Kittle as well.

  3. It may be a loose interpretation of organized baseball, but Bill Lee has made numerous appearances for the Savannah Bananas! (

    1. This almost makes me want to start a Spaceman collection. I'm seriously tempted.