Wednesday, August 27, 2014

#270 Frank Viola

About the Front: The phrase "comically grotesque" comes to mind. Anyhow, Frank Viola is letting 'er rip in Yankee Stadium, where he pitched twice in 1992. I'm leaning toward August 6, because I think this is John Marzano catching in the foreground, and not Tony Pena. If so, he pitched a gem that day, limiting New York to a run on four hits and four walks (but only one strikeout) and coming within one batter of a complete game. He bested Melido Perez and won 3-1.

About the Back: In Viola's first 10 full seasons (1983-1992), he averaged 245 innings per year. Makes my arm ache just thinking about it.

Triple Play:

1. Frank earned MVP honors in the 1987 World Series, as he earned wins with eight-inning efforts in the opener and the clincher.

2. He passed on his athletic talent to his son Frank III, a pitcher at Florida Community College who pitched in the low minors for the White Sox in 2005 and 2007, and his daughter Brittany, a diver who made the U.S. Olympic team for the 2012 summer games. Frank Viola III signed with the Blue Jays in 2014 after learning the knuckleball from R. A. Dickey and Phil Niekro, and appeared in nine games in A ball.

3. Viola has been a pitching coach in the Mets' organization since 2011. This past spring, he successfully underwent open-heart surgery.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: For whatever reason, I distinctly remember pulling this card from a blue Series One pack that I bought from a Revco. That's a drug store chain that has been defunct since 1997. I'm a rambling old man at 32.

Bill James Said: "His season was ended by elbow surgery, and there is reason for concern." No kidding. Injuries limited Frank to 15 games beyond 1993, and he posted a 6.19 ERA in 75.2 innings from 1994 through 1996 before walking away.

On This Date in 1993: August 27. The Rainbow Bridge, which connects Tokyo's Shibaura district to the island of Odaiba, is completed. Construction began in 1987.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, wow, I had no idea Revco had been out of business since '97 (I'm a rambling old man two weeks shy of joining Club 32).