Jan 2, 2017

Former Italian / American Brooklyn Born Player: Frank Torre (1956-1963)

Frank Joseph Torre was born December 30th 1931 in Brooklyn, New York.

The six foot four left handed hitting/throwing first baseman attended James Madison high school in Brooklyn. Frank is the eight year old older brother of Joe Torre. He was signed by the Boston Braves as an amateur free agent in 1950.

Frank spent six years in the Braves minor leagues making their big league club in 1956 by which time they were in Milwaukee.


He would be the clubs main first baseman splitting time with Joe Adcock, having his best years, in 1957 & 1958 as the team won two straight NL Pennants breaking the NL reign of New York clubs, in which the NY Giants & Brooklyn Dodgers had dominated since 1951. Both of those seasons he led all NL first baseman in fielding %. In 1957 Torre hit .272 with 5 HRs 19 doubles & 40 RBIs.

World Series': In the 1957 World Series Championship win over the AL new York club, Torre followed Hank Aaron's three run HR in the 4th inning of Game #4 at Milwaukee hitting a solo HR, helping the Braves to a 7-5 win tying up the series at two. He hit another HR in the Game #6 loss as well.

In the final Game #7, Torre scored Hank Aaron as he grounded out in the Braves four run 3rd inning. In that Game Lew Burdett won his third series game with a shut out. Overall Torre hit .300 in that World Series with 2 HRs & 3 RBIs. In the 1958 World Series he went just 3-17 as the Braves lost in seven games.

In 1958 he batted .309 with career highs in doubles (22) & RBIs (55). In 1959 his average fell to .228, Adcock was having a better year but manager Fred Haney insisted on playing Torre. This led to Bill James  citing that that was the one of the worst ever performances by a manager, as the Braves lost a three game playoff to the eventual World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.



Trivia: In 1960 the Braves brought a young Joe Torre up & the two brothers played on the same team for two games.

After playing the 1961 season at AAA Montreal, his contract was purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies where he ended his career after two seasons.
In 1962 he batted a career best .310 in 108 games. In  a seven year career Torre batted .273 with 404 hits 13 HRs 78 doubles 15 triples & 179 RBIs in 714 games.

Post Playing Days: Torre became an executive at the Rawlings Sporting Goods Company & later a Vice President for Baseball Assistance Team providing help to former MLB & Negro League Players.

In 1996 he received a heart transplant & in 2004 a kidney transplant from his daughter. He passed away in 2004 at age 81.

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