Monday, February 19, 2007

100 Greatest Red Sox >> #73 Frank Sullivan

Frank Sullivan, P, #18 (1953-1960)

97 wins, 100 losses, 3.60 ERA, 959 K, 1732 IP

Frank Sullivan was a top of the line starting pitcher in the mid-1950s for some very mediocre Red Sox teams. Sullivan started his Red Sox career as a reliver in 1953. He made his debut as a starter on May 21, 1954 beating the New York Yankees 6-3 including 3 strikeouts of Mickey Mantle. Sullivan finished the 1954 season with a 15-12 record and 3.14 ERA.

He went 18-13 in 1955, tying for the league lead in wins, starts (35) and innings pitched (260). Sullivan led Red Sox staff in ERA from 1954-1957. Frank was a member of the 1955 and 1956 American League All Star teams. In the 1955 All Star game, he allowed a 12th inning game winning HR to Hall of Famer Stan Musial. He managed to win 13 or more games 5 years in a row, 1954-58. He was also fifth in the league in ERA in 1955 and 1957. Today that would earn him a $15 million per year contract!

For his career, Frank tied with Dutch Leonard in 15th place with 90 wins as a member of the Red Sox, 20th in innings pitched with 1505.3, 9th in overall strikeouts with 821. As was the case with many Red Sox pitchers, he suffered by pitching half his games at Fenway Park. Sullivan never made a postseason appearance, as was the case of many Red Sox starts of the 1950's. Sullivan was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies on December 15, 1960 in exchange for P Gene Conley. Sullivan went 3-16 for one of the worst teams ever - the 1961 Phillies, who finished the season with a 47-107 record. In 1962, Sullivan returned to the AL with the Twins and retired after the 1963 season.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Frank Sullivan has a memoir published in 2008 Called "life is more than 9 Innings" Will be inducted in Red Sox Hall Fall 2008

Anonymous said...

A real gentleman, kind to kids, friendly to strangers, and happy to share his baseball stories.

Anonymous said...

I recall his joke as the team plane arrived at Logan after a disastrous road trip:

"Spread out men, so they can't get us all with one burst."

Anonymous said...

Over the last few years I have had the pleasure of corresponding with Sully through a mutual friend. When he was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame last November, I met him and his family in person. He is all the things that have been said here about him and more. What most people forget, however, he is the only remaining living "model" that posed for Norman Rockwell's "The Rookie". The Boston Globe did a nice story on that subject a few years ago and it can be found online. Check it out - Frank is #18 sitting on the bench. Because of the angle he's sitting at, his number appears to be #8.

Erica said...

Thanks so much for your article, very helpful info.

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