Friday, May 25, 2012

#55 - Frank Tanana

What a card: This is Frank Tanana's last card as a Texas Ranger. He was traded to the Tigers in June of 1985.

My observation on the front: This is also the last card of Frank Tanana featuring him with a mustache. Tanana would always go back and forth with the mustache in his cards. Without a mustache. With a mustache. Without a mustache. With a mustache. Finally, after '85, he scrapped it altogether.

More opinion from me: Red Rangers jerseys? Did they wear those often?

Something you might know: Tanana famously remade himself into a control/off-speed pitcher after beginning his career throwing smoke. One of the best moments of his renovation was throwing a 1-0 shutout on the last day of the 1987 season to clinch a playoff spot for the Tigers.

Something you might not know: Tanana changed his devil-may-care lifestyle after teammate Lyman Bostock was shot to death in 1978.

My observation on the back: Tanana's father was also named Frank Tanana. At least I think that's what Topps is saying when it writes "His father." "Tanana's father" would have been more clear.

The blog wants to speak now: The Music, Pop Culture and News tabs are updated. Not a lot new there. I'm too tired.


Anthony Hughes said...

Thanks, Greg, I never knew that Bostock's shooting was what prompted Tanana to change his partying habits.

I had some tapes of radio broadcasts from mid-70's, sadly time and humidity ruined them. But, on one of them, Drysdale (Angel's TV and radio announcer at that time) was telling stories about Tanana's partying, and comparing him with Bo Belinsky. You could tell he had to bite his tongue to not go in to too much lurid detail.

Matthew R said...

Guess what card will be featured in the 1977 blog? What a coincidence!

MoltenLava said...

I grew up on Angels baseball in the late 70's, and in my mind Tanana was as great as if not superior to Nolan Ryan. Sad that he lost his fastball, but happy he was able to re-invent himself and enjoy such a long successful career.

Spiff said...

The red jerseys were an alternate jersey. Worn only in 1984. The card companies loved them though and got lots of pictures of Texas players in them.