Frank Joseph Torre (December 30, 1931 – September 13, 2014) was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a first baseman. Torre, who batted and threw left-handed, played for the Milwaukee Braves (1956–60) and Philadelphia Phillies (1962–63). He was the older brother of Baseball Hall of Fame member Joe Torre, himself a former Major League Baseball player and longtime manager.
Signed by the Boston Braves as an amateur free agent in 1950, Torre spent four seasons in the Braves' farm system. He debuted with the team in 1956 (the Braves had since moved to Milwaukee) and played in 111 games, most of them as a backup. He hit .258 in 159 at-bats.
Torre's two best seasons were in 1957 and 1958; in the former year, he batted .272 with 5 home runs and 40 runs batted in. He also tied a National League record that year by scoring six runs in one game, the first game of a September 2 doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, which the Braves won 23–10. The Braves defeated the New York Yankees in that year's World Series; Torre homered twice in the Series, which the Braves won in seven games on the strength of Lew Burdette's three victories. In 1958 Torre established career highs in batting average (.309), home runs (six) and runs batted in (55) as the Braves repeated as National League champions. However, the Yankees defeated Milwaukee in their World Series rematch after trailing 0–2 and 1–3 in the Series.
In his career Torre played 714 games, batting .273 with 13 home runs and 179 RBIs. He was also a difficult man to strike out, fanning only 64 times in 1482 at-bats, or one per 23.2 at-bats. Torre was also an excellent defensive player, coming into the game as a replacement for Joe Adcock in late-inning situations in games where he did not start. Torre led all National League first basemen in fielding percentage in 1957 and 1958.
In 1996, as his brother Joe was managing the New York Yankees to a World Series title (his first as a player or manager—39 years after Frank had won his) over the Atlanta Braves, Frank made news of his own by successfully undergoing a heart transplant. He received the new heart on October 25 at New York-Presbyterian Hospital after a two-and-a-half month wait. The very next night, he watched from his hospital bed as Joe managed the Yankees to the World Series title. Like the 1958 World Series against Frank's Milwaukee Braves, the Yankees had rallied from an 0–2 deficit to win this Series, taking the next four games.
In 2006 it was reported that Frank needed a kidney transplant as a result of the medication he had been taking for his heart. A year later he received a kidney from one of his daughters.
Torre served as a Vice President of the Baseball Assistance Team, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping former Major League, Minor League and Negro League players through financial and medical hardships.
Torre suffered cardiac arrest on September 13, 2014, doctors tried to revive him, but he could not be saved. He was pronounced dead at 2:33 P.M. He died at 82.
By Dean Hanley
Page : 1