Hall of Fame: Frankie Frisch (1947)

The Flash.

 Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH
+--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+
1919 20 NYG NL 54 190 21 43 3 2 2 24 15 4 14 .226 .242 .295 62 56 3
1920 21 NYG NL 110 440 57 123 10 10 4 77 34 11 20 18 .280 .311 .375 96 165 13
1921 22 NYG NL 153 618 121 211 31 17 8 100 49 13 42 28 .341 .384 .485 128 300 26
1922 23 NYG NL 132 514 101 168 16 13 5 51 31 17 47 13 .327 .387 .438 110 225 18
1923 24 NYG NL 151 641 116 223 32 10 12 111 29 12 46 12 .348 .395 .485 132 311 11
1924 25 NYG NL 145 603 121 198 33 15 7 69 22 9 56 24 .328 .387 .468 131 282 14
1925 26 NYG NL 120 502 89 166 26 6 11 48 21 12 32 14 .331 .374 .472 118 237 5
1926 27 NYG NL 135 545 75 171 29 4 5 44 23 33 16 .314 .353 .409 105 223 11
1927 28 STL NL 153 617 112 208 31 11 10 78 48 43 10 .337 .387 .472 126 291 26
1928 29 STL NL 141 547 107 164 29 9 10 86 29 64 17 .300 .374 .441 110 241 19
1929 30 STL NL 138 527 93 176 40 12 5 74 24 53 12 .334 .397 .484 116 255 17
1930 31 STL NL 133 540 121 187 46 9 10 114 15 55 16 .346 .407 .520 119 281 16
1931 32 STL NL 131 518 96 161 24 4 4 82 28 45 13 .311 .368 .396 102 205 5
1932 33 STL NL 115 486 59 142 26 2 3 60 18 25 13 .292 .327 .372 85 181 2
1933 34 STL NL 147 585 74 177 32 6 4 66 18 48 16 .303 .358 .398 111 233 10
1934 35 STL NL 140 550 74 168 30 6 3 75 11 45 10 .305 .359 .398 98 219 10
1935 36 STL NL 103 354 52 104 16 2 1 55 2 33 16 .294 .356 .359 89 127 14
1936 37 STL NL 93 303 40 83 10 0 1 26 2 36 10 .274 .353 .317 81 96 8
1937 38 STL NL 17 32 3 7 2 0 0 4 0 1 0 .219 .242 .281 41 9 1
+--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+
19 Seasons 9112 2880 138 1244 74 272 .316 .369 .432 111 229
2311 1532 466 105 419 728 3937

1 MVP award (1931)
3 All-Star appearances (1933-1935)

Born September 9, 1898, Francis Frisch was born in the Bronx. At Fordham University, Frisch starred in four sports, but he chose baseball for his profession. Unlike most players, Frisch impressed the New York Giants enough to bring him right up to the big leagues in 1919.

John McGraw liked him enough to make him a full-time player in 1920, and Frisch responded. McGraw responded by naming him the team captain and teaching him everything he knew about baserunning and hitting. At this point, Frisch was both a third baseman and second baseman, but he would move primarily to second in 1923. For the next few seasons, Frisch would place in the top of the league in stolen bases, hits, and runs and would help the team win the World Series in 1921 and 1922. The success wasn’t enough to keep him New York, however, and he was sent to the St. Louis Cardinals after the 1926 season for none other than Rogers Hornsby.

Frisch wouldn’t be Hornsby’s equal, but the Cardinals made four more World Series trips with Frisch. His best season was 1931 when he hit 10 home runs and 114 RBI’s with a .311 batting average while helping the Cardinals win the World Series over Connie Mack’s Philadelphia A’s. In 1933, Frisch followed others of the era by becoming the player-manager, and a year later, the Cardinals won another World Series. Frisch’s hallowed career ended after the 1937 season when his average plummeted to .219 after always being above .274.

After retiring from baseball, Frisch didn’t stop being involved. He continued on as the Cardinals’ manager, but he never won another World Series. Later, he became the play-by-play announcer for the Giants until 1956 when Phil Rizzuto took over after Frisch had a heart attack. Elected to the Hall of Fame himself in 1947 with 136 of the 161 votes (84.5%), Frisch became a member of the Veterans Committee, and he would become the chairman a few years later. Some of the players elected during his time as chairman, mostly former teammates, are some of the most controversial in Hall history.

Weird note — there’s dispute over his birth year. Some say he was actually born in 1897. I guess the Dominicans aren’t the only ones who have lied about ages.

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