Frank Daryl Tanana (born July 3, 1953) is a former Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher. He was the California Angels' 1st round draft pick in 1971.
During a 21-year baseball career, he pitched from 1973-1993 for six different teams: the Angels, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, New York Mets, and New York Yankees.
June 21, 1975 was a memorable day in Tanana's career – he struck out 17 batters in one game. In his prime, he was known for a blazing 100+ MPH fastball, which he abruptly lost when he injured his arm. However, he was able to develop an assortment of off-speed pitches (including an excellent curveball) and continue his career.
Tanana appeared in three consecutive All-Star Games from 1976 to 1978, and led the league in strikeouts in 1975 as well as in ERA and shutouts in 1977. Throughout his career, he accumulated 34 shutouts, 4000 innings pitched, and nearly 3000 strikeouts.
He was given the nickname "Frank Tanana Daiquiri" by broadcaster Chris Berman of ESPN. As he became a successful junk-baller for the Tigers in the 1980s, Tiger broadcasting legend Ernie Harwell would often refer to him as "TAN-talizing Tanana".
Tanana is one of two pitchers (along with Rick Reuschel) to have given up a home run to both Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds.
Tanana taught Seattle Seahawks quarterback Jim Zorn how to slide properly. Zorn, as a coach after his playing career was over, recruited John Olerud to teach Matt Hasselbeck to slide in similar fashion.
By Dean Hanley
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