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Frank Pastore

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Frank Enrico Pastore

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Frank Pastore pitched for the Cincinnati Reds from 1979 to 1985 before ending his career with the Minnesota Twins in 1986. He was selected in the 2nd round of the 1975 amateur draft out of high school and pitched in Cincinnati's minor league system from 1975 to 1978 before making the Reds' opening day roster in 1979. He was 5-7 in both of his first two seasons in the minors, then had a record 10-11, 2.95 while reaching AA with the Trois-Rivières Aigles in 1977. He was 6-10, 3.77 between AA and AAA in 1978. As a rookie in 1979, he went 6-7, 4.25 for the division-winning Reds, returning to AAA Indianapolis for 10 starts, during which he was 7-2, 2.78. He started Game 2 of the 1979 NLCS against the Pittsburgh Pirates on October 3rd. He pitched very well, giving up 2 runs on 7 hits in 7 innings before giving way to pinch-hitter Harry Spilman in the 7th inning. The Reds were trailing, 2-1, when he left, but managed to tie the game in the bottom of the 9th, only to lose, 3-2, in 10 innings. It was Pastore's only career postseason appearance. Only 22 at the time, he seemed to have a bright future ahead of him.

Pastore had his best season in 1980 when he went 13-7, 3.27 in 27 starts. He fell to 4-9, 4.02 in 1981 while starting 22 games, and his poor performance was a contributing factor to his team missing the postseason by finishing a close second in both halves of the strike-shortened season. He then was 8-13, 3.97 in 1982 and 9-12, 4.88 in 1983 as Cincinnati fell to the bottom of the standings in the NL West. Ironically, when the team began to improve in 1984, the year Pete Rose was named player-manager after returning to the Queen City in mid-season, the bottom fell out of his record, as he finished the season 3-8 with a 6.50 ERA, losing the spot in the starting rotation he had occupied for the four previous years. He improved slightly, to 2-1, 3.83 in 17 games in 1985 but was released at the end of spring training in 1986. He was picked up by the Twins three weeks later and went 3-1 for them, with a 4.01 ERA in 33 games as a reliever. He pitched a few games in AAA in 1987 before calling it quits.

In 8 major league season, his record was 48-58 with a 4.29 ERA, which was well below average at the time (his career ERA+ is only 87). He was durable, but struck out very few batters, averaging fewer than 5 Ks per 9 innings, with a career best of only 110. At the same time, he allowed a lot of baserunners through walks and hits, meaning that he was continually pitching in and out of trouble.

The Big Texan restaurant on route 66 in Amarillo, TX, has a free 72-ounce steak dinner if eaten in one hour. The dinner consists of a baked potato, salad, shrimp cocktail, roll, and a 72-ounce top sirloin steak. According to their Web site, "Frank Pastore, a professional pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, ate the complete steak dinner in a record that still stands today of just 9½ minutes back in May of 1987. This was Frank's 7th and fastest time to complete the steak contest in 11 years of running to spring training in Florida."

After his baseball career, Pastore attended various universities, studying business, philosophy, religion and politics. He became a born-again Christian and began hosting a popular radio show on station KKLA in Glendale, CA, a Christian-themed radio.

On November 19, 2012, Pastore was riding his motorcycle on Freeway 210 near Los Angeles, CA when he was involved in a serious accident. He was hit by a car that had spun out of control and was thrown from his motorcycle, suffering severe head trauma. He was well aware of the dangers associated with his passion for riding motorcycles; a few hours before the accident that ended his life, he made the following comment on the air: "Look, you guys know I ride a motorcycle, right? So, at any moment, especially with the idiot people who cross the diamond lane into my lane, all right, without any blinkers – not that I'm angry about it – at any minute I could be spread all over the 210. But that's [just] my body part, and that key distinction undergirds the entire Christian worldview." After spending about a month in a coma, he died at age 55 on December 17th.

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