Sunday, October 11, 2009

#32 Herman Franks

#32 Herman Franks
This may be complete nonsense, but Herman Franks looks the way a man named Herman Franks should look. (Reads over it...) Yes. Total and utter nonsense.

Fun facts about Herman Franks:

-Born in Price, UT, Herman spent a year at the University of Utah before turning pro with the Hollywood Stars. He signed with the Cardinals soon after.

-Debuted in St. Louis in 1939 and served as a backup catcher for the Dodgers in the following two years. Didn't do much to impress (.185 in 287 at-bats).

-Served in the military for three and one-half years during World War II.

-Returned to baseball in 1947 as player-manager for Brooklyn's AAA St. Paul team. Resigned in August when the Athletics asked him to join their major league roster.

-Played for the A's in 1947-1948, and finished his career with a single game with the Giants in 1949. Hit .199 in parts of six seasons.

-Coached for his former manager Leo Durocher's Giants from 1949 through 1955, and was believed to have stolen signs from a center-field perch during New York's late-season comeback in their pennant-winning 1951 season.

-Also served as a scout, minor-league general manager, and coach for the Giants from 1956 through 1964.

-Got his first big league managing gig in San Francisco. Despite a 367-280 record in four seasons (1965-1968), his club settled for four second-place finishes and gradually slid from 95 wins in his first year to 88 in the final campaign. Franks was fired and replaced by Clyde King.

-Returned to the dugout with the Cubs in 1977, but compiled a mediocre 238-241 record in three seasons before resigning near the end of 1979.

-Had a brief run as the interim GM of the Cubs in 1981 to close out his time in the top ranks of baseball management. He lived comfortably for the most part, owing to wise business investments, and died in his home last March at age 95.
#32 Herman Franks (back)

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