Thursday, August 8, 2013

#53 Frank Tanana

About the Front: Frank Tanana is the first of several Tigers in this set who are pictured in 1931 throwbacks. We can't get a clean look here, but the cap features a true rarity - an orange block-letter "D" in lieu of the team's trademark white Olde English "D". I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention the odd look on Tanana's face. It's like a half-leer, half-eyeroll that says, "Another day of this crap".

About the Back: Though this is Frank's last Topps card, it does not contain his entire career statistical record. He split 1993 between the two New York teams, putting up a combined 7-17 mark with a 4.35 ERA in 32 games. He retired in the offseason, and I guess Topps didn't see fit to squeeze him into their 1994 set.

Triple Play:

1. Tanana spent the early portion of his career as the lefty half of a hard-throwing duo for the Angels, complementing Nolan Ryan's righthanded heat. It was said that the Angels' starting rotation was "Tanana and Ryan and two days of cryin'".

2. He started the first-ever games at both Seattle's Kingdome and Chicago's (new) Comiskey Park,
tossing a shutout in each game. He was also the starter and winning pitcher in the final game at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium.

3. Frank and Rick Reuschel are the only two pitchers in MLB history to allow home runs to both Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: Was his name pronounced like "Madonna" or "banana"? I'm still not sure.

Bill James Said: "Had exactly the same season that Warren Spahn had in '65, when Spahn was 44." Tanana was only 40 in 1993, but like Spahn, it turned out to be his final season.

On This Date in 1993: August 8. Lollapalooza '93 touches down in Los Angeles, with musical acts including Nine Inch Nails, Alice in Chains, Rage Against the Machine, Dinosaur Jr., Tool, Front 242, Fishbone, and Arrested Development.


  1. He threw in the 90s in the 70's and in the 70s in the 90's. I think that was his quote.

  2. Jeff - That sounds about right.