Tuesday, February 25, 2014
#266 - Frank Viola
What a card: This is Frank Viola's card after his big breakout season in the major leagues. After struggling with a 5-plus ERA his first two years, he went 18-12 for the Twins in 1984 with four shutouts.
My observation on the front: This photo looks like the completion of his wild delivery on his 1984 Topps card.
More opinion from me: When you get to be my age it's odd to see players you followed as a youngster disappear for awhile and then reappear in a whole new role. After years of not knowing what happened to Viola after his career, I suddenly saw him sitting in the stands rooting for his daughter who was diving in the Summer Olympic Games in London in 2012.
Something you might know: Viola was a integral part of the Twins' 1987 World Series championship team, capturing Series MVP honors after winning Game 1 and Game 7.
Something you might not know: Just a few days after Viola was named MVP, the family was celebrating Halloween in their Minnesota home. Viola's wife found some photos of Frank and thought it would be a good idea to hand them out with the candy. Viola autographed pictures and handed out candy for two hours until the photos were gone. But there was still a mob of people showing up for Viola's autograph. So he signed for a little longer then turned out the lights and pretended not to be home. But the people stayed. Until the Violas called the cops.
My observation on the back: Stein was a legendary scout based in New York. In the 1990s, he tried to convince the Twins to sign Manny Ramirez, but did not succeed.
The blog wants to speak now: The Music category is updated.