Thursday, February 03, 2011

#269 Frank Bolling

#269 Frank Bolling
Frank Bolling sort of fits one of my favorite adjectives: "lantern-jawed". Good, hardy stock.

Fun facts about Frank Bolling:

-Born in Mobile, AL, Frank attended his hometown's Spring Hill College and signed with the Tigers in 1951.

-His uncle Jack played first base for the Phillies (1939) and Dodgers (1944). Brother Milt was an infielder with the Red Sox, Senators and Tigers (1952-1958).

-Frank hit .299 in three minor league seasons before becoming Detroit's starting second baseman as a rookie in 1954. He batted .236 with 6 home runs and 38 RBI that year.

-After missing all of 1955 and the first two months of the 1956 season due to military service, he returned to bat a career-high .281 with a .354 on-base percentage and .434 slugging in 102 games.

-In 1958 Bolling won a Gold Glove and was joined on the Tigers by brother Milt. He showed some power, cracking 25 doubles, 14 home runs, and a personal-best 75 RBI. He also led the team with 91 runs scored.

-In December 1960, Frank was traded to the Braves in the Bill Bruton deal. He would be selected to the National League All-Star team in each of his first two seasons in Milwaukee, boosted in part by the 15 home runs he hit in 1961 to tie a career high.

-On September 22, 1965, he hit the penultimate home run of his career in the Braves' last-ever home game in Milwaukee. It was also his only grand slam, and the only grand slam allowed by the great Sandy Koufax during the last four years of the lefty's Hall of Fame career!

-After losing his starting job with the Braves in 1966, Bolling retired. In parts of 12 seasons he hit .254 with 106 home runs and 556 RBI.

-In 10 of his 11 full seasons, he was top-four in his league in fielding percentage at second base, and retired with a .982 overall mark. He never played a single inning at any other position.

-He became involved in charity work back in Mobile and founded the Frank Bolling Adaptive Baseball League, the first Little League for mentally and physically challenged children.
#269 Frank Bolling (back)


  1. This is Frank Bolling's last card. Even though he had significant playing time in both 1965 and 1966, he is one of a handful of players without a card in the 1966 set.

  2. Jim - That's interesting. One of the things I like about your blog is that you make note of a player's last card. Thanks!