Marion John Fricano (July 15, 1923 – May 18, 1976) was an American professional baseball player. A right-handed pitcher, he appeared in 88 games, 43 as a starter, in the Major Leagues over all or part of four seasons, 1952–1955, for the Philadelphia and Kansas City Athletics.
The 6 ft (1.8 m), 170 lb (77 kg) Fricano was born in Brant, New York, raised in nearby North Collins, and attended Cortland State University. After service in the United States Navy during World War II, he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers and began his pro career at age 23 in 1947. Fricano spent five full seasons in the Dodger farm system and compiled an impressive win-loss record (66–33, .667) in levels from Class D to Triple-A through 1951. Acquired by the Athletics in 1952, he was sent to the Triple-A Ottawa A's, where he won 17 of 25 decisions for a seventh-place club and led the International League in earned run average (2.26).
He was recalled to Philadelphia in September 1952 and appeared in two games, gaining his first MLB win by defeating the Detroit Tigers with three innings of one-run relief. Fricano then spent the entire 1953 and 1954 seasons with the Athletics. Although he posted a record of only 9–12 in 1953, he was second on the Athletics' staff (and ninth overall in the American League) in innings pitched (211), pitched ten complete games and kept his ERA below four runs (3.88). But in 1954, the A's final campaign in Philadelphia, he dropped 11 of 16 decisions, with an ineffective 5.16 earned run average and 1.497 WHIP.
He spent most of 1955 in the minor leagues, although he returned to the Athletics, now in Kansas City, for ten relief appearances. His minor league career extended for another six seasons, into 1961. In the Majors, he allowed 393 hits and 164 bases on balls in 387⅔ innings of work, with 115 strikeouts and two saves accompanying his 15 victories. In the minors, his record was 131–91 in 423 games pitched.
After his baseball career, Fricano returned to North Collins, where he served as director of recreation and a member of the town council. He died from complications due to cancer at age 52 in Tijuana.
By Dean Hanley
Page : 1