Rafael Palmeiro (born September 24, 1964) is a Cuban-born Major League Baseball player. He signed a one-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles for the 2004 season. This will be his second term with the Orioles; he played in Baltimore from 1994 through 1998.
He debuted September 8, 1986 with the Chicago Cubs, and played with the Cubs through 1988. He has also had two stints with the Texas Rangers (1989-1993 and 1999-2003).
A four-time All-Star and a three-time Gold Glove winner at first base, Palmeiro became the 19th player (and the second Hispanic, after Sammy Sosa) to reach the 500-home run plateau on May 12, 2003. He also became the first player in history to have led his league in singles one year and joined the 500-homer club.
Palmeiro is an anomaly in his sport because he did not hit his stride until after the age of 30, when he began a streak of hitting 30-plus home runs and batting in 100-plus runs nine seasons in a row (1995-2003).
He has the greatest number of career home runs for a player who never led his league in that category.