July 24, 2019

Touring the Bases With…Frank Sullivan

March 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the tallest pitchers in baseball at 6’7″, Frank Sullivan enjoyed immediate success upon earning a full-time spot with the Boston Red Sox in 1954, winning 15 games in his rookie season.  He tied for the league lead in wins with 18 in 1955 and paced the junior circuit in starts, innings, and batters faced.  His performance earned him a spot on the A.L. All-Star team and he pitched well in relief, throwing 3 1/3 innings of shutout ball before surrendering a game-winning home run to Stan Musial in the bottom of the 12th.  Another behemoth, 6’8″ Braves hurler Gene Conley, got the win.

Sporting one of baseball’s best fastballs, Sullivan made the All-Star team again in 1956, then paced the A.L. in WHIP and walks per nine innings in 1957.  His last productive season came in 1958, however, and though he pitched for five more years, he never reached the heights he reached from 1954-1958.  Over those five seasons, only Early Wynn, Billy Pierce, and Whitey Ford won more games among A.L. hurlers, and only Ford and Pierce had a lower earned run average than Sullivan’s 3.13.

Sullivan was recently inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame with Bill Lee, Mo Vaughn, and Mike Greenwell, and is the author of Life is More Than 9 Innings.

Click here to watch a video of a conversation I had with Sullivan.

Bob Lazzari is an award-winning sports columnist for both Connecticut’s Valley Times and NY Sports Day, where his “Sports Roundup” column is featured weekly. He is a member of the Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance and host of “Monday Night Sports Talk,” a cable television show on CTV/Channel 14 in Connecticut.

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