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Frank Fanovich

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Frank Joseph Fanovich (Lefty)

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Left-hander Frank Fanovich played two seasons in the majors, losing all 5 of his big league decisions.

He served for three years with the United States Air Force in Europe during World War II, then returned home to marry his high-school sweetheart, Yolanda; the would remained married for 65 years. Fanovich was signed by the New York Giants prior to the 1946 season. "Lefty" spent time with three clubs that year, going 5-7 with a 3.36 ERA in 17 games for the Ogdensburg Maples of the class C Border League and 1-1 in 3 games for the Danville Leafs of the Carolina League; he was also with the Trenton Giants for one outing with no decision. He was back in the Border League in 1947 with the Watertown Athletics where the young lefthander won 16 and lost 3, leading the league in ERA (2.41), strikeouts (182), and winning percentage (.842). On September 27th of that year, the Cincinnati Reds took note and purchased Frank's contract from Watertown.

The Reds optioned Fanovich to the Syracuse Chiefs of the International League in 1948, where he cooled off a bit to 9-13 with a 4.08 ERA. However, Cincinnati still thought enough of him to bring him to Crosley Field for the 1949 season, where he was used primarily in relief, appearing in 29 games, going 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA. He was selected off waivers on May 8, 1950 by the New York Giants from the Reds and was assigned to the AAA Minneapolis Millers, where he went 8-5 with a 4.50 ERA. He spent 1951 with the same club and went 7-12. The Philadelphia Athletics purchased him from the Giants in February of 1952.

The 1952 season saw Fanovich winning the "Trifecta" again, playing with three different teams, the Ottawa A's, the Savannah Indians, and the Atlanta Crackers, posting a combined record of 6-7 in 27 outings. In 1953, at age 31, he spent the season with Philadelphia, going 0-3 with a 5.55 ERA in 26 appearances. "Lefty", in his two terms in the big leagues had lost all five of his decisions in 55 appearances and would not return for another look. Late in 1953, he was traded with Joe Coleman to the Baltimore Orioles for Bob Cain. He was with the IL Richmond Virginians in 1954 and went 5-10 with a 5.17 ERA. He spent his last year in pro baseball in 1955 with the San Antonio Missions, winning 14 games and losing 11 with a 3.47 ERA.

After baseball Fanovich became one of the "Big Apple"'s finest as a member of the New York City Police Department. He served in the Manhattan North Narcotics Division for 27 years. He retired to New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and passed away there in 2011.

[edit] Sources

Baseball-Reference.com
Baseball Players of the 1950s
SABR MILB Database:page

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