Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Great Frank Malzone Turns 83 Today

Frank Malzone
Back in the day—and by "the day", we mean the 1950s—there were very few guys on the Carmine Hose you could cheer for. There was, of course, the god-like Ted Williams and the under-rated Jackie Jensen. But there was also a rock-solid third baseman named Frank Malzone. Frank turns 83 years old today. The Bronx-born Malzone—like Williams—had a couple of years wrenched out his early baseball career by The Korean Conflict (as it was quaintly referred to in the 1950s ). Once he got to The Show as a regular in 1957, Malzone played in more than 150 games for seven straight years (remember, seasons only had 154 games back then ). In 1958, he led the league in games played and at-bats. But more importantly, he was an offensive and defensive star for an otherwise woeful series of Red Sox teams. In 1962 he had his best season, hitting .283 with 21 HRs and 95 RBIs. Defensively, he was our Brooks Robinson—winning three straight Gold Gloves in 1957, 1958 and 1959. Malzone still shows up at Red Sox events all the time and—with the passing of Johhny Pesky—might be the best living connection to our Red Sox past. Happy Birthday, Malzy.