From BR Bullpen
Frank John Leja
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 4", Weight 205 lb.
- Debut May 1, 1954
- Final Game April 29, 1962
- Born February 7, 1936 in Holyoke, MA USA
- Died May 3, 1991 in Boston, MA USA
 Biographical Information
Frank Leja was projected as another Lou Gehrig by legendary New York Yankees scout Paul Krichell. Leja was the team's first bonus player in 1953 when he was signed for a reported $100,000. He worked out at Yankee Stadium and hit the first nine of ten pitches into the stands in home run territory. Little did anyone envision that his M.L. career would consist of only one hit.
Because of the bonus rule, the 17-year-old left-handed hitting first baseman languished on the bench during his first two years. Frank saw limited action, appearing in just 19 games and going 1-7 at the plate. Leja then spent several years in the minors and had possibly his best season in 1957 when he led the Eastern League with 117 RBIs and hit 22 homers to help the Binghamton Triplets to the league pennant. 1958 was also a good year when he hit for a .263 average with 29 home runs for the New Orleans Pelicans of the Southern Association. You could also say that 1961 was a very good year when he led the International League with 98 RBIs and hit 30 homers that was second only to Boog Powell and his 32 four-baggers.
Frank hung in there sticking out eight seasons in the minors and would wind up with a minor league career batting average of .248 and 164 home runs. Leja did make it back to the majors for a seven game trial with the 1962 Los Angeles Angels, going hitless in 16 at-bats. He was 1-23 in the majors, giving him a .043 batting average. Frank would finish up his pro baseball career in 1963 at age 27 with the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League.