Dean PalmerUpdatedSaturday November 5, 2016 byJim Henry.
Dean Palmer is one of the most recognizable names in Tallahassee baseball circles.
He helped make history as a member of the 1984 Tallahassee-Leon Babe Ruth All-Star team that won the organization’s first World Series.
It also represented Tallahassee’s first national title in youth baseball.
The power-slugging third baseball starred at Florida High and was a third-round selection in the 1986 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers.
Former Florida High baseball coach Jeff Hogan remembers the first time he watched Palmer hit.
“The ball made a totally different sound coming off the bat,” Hogan told the Tallahassee Democrat.
“It was just different. When he hit the ball solid, there are still so many stories about how hard and far he hit it.”
Palmer, a right-handed hitter, developed into one of the American League top power hitters during his professional career that spanned 14 seasons with the Rangers, Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals.
He saw his first major league action in 1989, playing in 16 games during the season's final month.
Palmer was a lifetime .251 hitter with 275 career home runs and 849 RBI when he retired following the 2003 season.
He was also a two-time Silver Slugger winner and an All-Star selection in 1998, when he hit 34 home runs and knocked in a career-high 119 runs with the Royals.
In 1992, Palmer became the first Texas ballplayer to ever homer in the first three games of a season, a feat that was later matched in 2011 by Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz.
With 38 home runs in 1996, Palmer, at that time, became just the fourth third baseman in American League history to reach that total, joining Harmon Killebrew, Al Rosen and Jim Thome.
Palmer played in 1,357 career games.
Palmer, who has twin sons and resides in Tallahassee, has remained in baseball as a coach.
He has volunteered at the youth level, served as an assistant coach at Tallahassee Community College and has been a special hitting instructor for the San Diego Padres in spring training.
Palmer’s parents, George and Sybil, still reside in Tallahassee.
Younger brother David, who played football at Florida State, is an orthopedic surgeon in Birmingham, Alabama.