Mississippi State Bulldogs: 50 Greatest Athletes in School History

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#1 Rafael Palmeiro, Mississippi State Outfield, (1983-1985)

Rafael Palmeiro was born in La Havana, Cuba in 1964, and attended Jackson High School in Miami, FL. Out of high school, Palmeiro was drafted in the 8th round by the New York Mets, but declined the Major Leagues to play in Starkville for Ron Polk’s Mississippi State team. During his tenure at Mississippi State, he became the only SEC player to ever achieve the batting Triple Crown (Highest Batting Average, Most RBIs, and Most Home Runs), and was named an All-American in 1985. Palmeiro is the all-time home runs leader at Mississippi State with 67 and is second on the school RBIs list with 239. His 268 hits is good for 9th all-time at Mississippi State and his .372 career batting average is good for 3rd all-time. He was drafted as the 22nd pick in the first-round of the 1985 MLB Amateur Draft by the Chicago Cubs organization. He played for 20 seasons, and amassed a career batting average of .288, 3020 hits, 569 Home Runs (12th All-time), and 1835 RBIs. He was inducted into the Mississippi State Hall of Fame on October 11, 2008, and the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009. Palmeiro’s major league numbers are more than enough to have placed in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. However, due to his link to performance enhancing drugs, he has been left out of the Hall of Fame.