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Frank Sullivan

Frank Sullivan

Position(s):
P
Born:
January 23, 1930
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
6' 6"
Weight:
215 lbs
Major League Debut:
7-31-1953 with BOS

Biographical Information

Right-hander Frank Sullivan was signed as an amateur free agent by the Boston Red Sox before the 1948 season. The 18 year old would spend his initial season with two different teams, the Oroville Red Sox of the class D Far West League and the San Jose Red Sox of the class C California League. He would have a combined 1-4 record, piching in only 8 games and 27 innings. Frank would pitch for three different teams in 1949-50, improve a bit and would spend the next two years (1951-52) in the United States Military Service during the Korean War.

Frank would return in time to pitch for the Albany Senators of the class A Eastern League in 1953. He would go 9-6 with a 1.78 ERA and also make his first appearance in the major leagues, going 1-1 in 14 appearances for Boston and never return to the minors again. At 6' 7", the right-hander was one of the tallest pitchers of the time. His battery mate for most of his career was 6' 3" Sammy White. He also threw to 6' 4" catcher Haywood Sullivan.

Frank was the losing pitcher in the 1955 All-Star game when he gave up Stan Musial's 12th inning home run. Overall he pitched creditably after entering in the eighth inning with the score tied 5-5 and holding the National League scoreless for three plus innings. At the time, the only player in the majors taller than Sullivan was 6' 8" Gene Conley, the game's winning pitcher. Strange but true, after the 1960 season Sullivan was traded to the Phillies for Conley.

The native of Hollywood, CA, was not one to accord himself the "Star" treatment. As he neared the end of his eleven year journey (1953-63), he was quoted, "I'm in the twilight of a mediocre career." But from 1954 to 1958 the towering right-hander from California had five straight winning seasons for the Red Sox for a 79-52 mark. He led the Boston staff with 15 victories in '54 and tied whitey Ford and Bob Lemon for the American League lead in wins with 18 in '55, the year he also led the league in starts (35) and innings pitched (260). Frank was the Opening Day Boston starter in '55, '56, '58 and '60.

Sullivan's trade to the Phillies came on the heels of a 6-16 season. After struggling (3-16) with the Phillies in 1961, he ended with Minnesota in 1962 and '63 with a lifetime mark of 97-100 and a 3.60 ERA.

Following his playing days, the lanky Irishman joined his one-time roommate and battery mate Sammy White in Hawaii as a golf pro in Lihue, on the Island of Kauai. Sounds like a tall tale!

 

Notable Achievements

  • 2-time AL All-Star (1955 & 1956)
  • AL Wins Leader (1955)
  • AL Innings Pitched Leader (1955)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 2 (1954 & 1955)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 4 (1954-1957)

In September 2008, Frank Sullivan published a memoir entitled "Life is More than 9 Innings."

Frank's Book

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Tagged:
All Star, Boston Red Sox, Frank Sullivan, Gene Conley, Philadelphia Phillies, Sammy White

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