Monday, September 2, 2013

IN MEMORIAM- PART VI: DANNY FRISELLA

The last time I posted for this memorial thread, I ended by mentioning that sadly this would not be the last we'd see of the 1977 Topps set in regards to a player meeting a tragic end at a young age.
I've already posted "memoriams" for Bob Moose, Danny Thompson and Mike Miley showing them on a 1977 card, and today another player is remembered who died around the time this set was issued: Danny Frisella.
Just 5 days before Angels infielder Mike Miley passed away in a car accident in Louisiana, the Milwaukee Brewers suffered a loss of their own when pitcher Frisella passed away on New Years Day in Phoenix, Arizona.
Once again, Topps had already produced the 1977 card line up for their new set and didn't have enough time to pull Frisella's card, giving us the card you see pictured below.
I added the "memoriam" banner along the bottom as I've done with the others in this thread.
Frisella was drafted by the New York Mets in 1966 out of Washington State University and made it up to the Major Leagues the following year.
He pitched for New York over the next six seasons, having his best year in the big leagues in 1971 when he went 8-5 with a sparkling 1.99 E.R.A. to go along with 12 saves in 53 games after learning to throw a forkball from Diego Segui over the Winter in Venezuela.
In November of 1972 he was traded to the Atlanta Braves along with pitcher Gary Gentry for George Stone and Felix Milan and stuck around for two years before going over to the San Diego Padres in 1975.
Though he posted a record of 1-6, he did have decent numbers overall, but San Diego shipped him to St. Louis after the season, where Frisella started the season in 1976.
But after only 18 games, he was once again traded, this time to the Brewers where he appeared in 32 games, posting impressive numbers of a 5-2 record and a 2.74 E.R.A. as a man out of the bullpen.
Sadly, Frisella never made it back to a Major League mound.
While riding a dune buggy near his home on January 1st, his vehicle tipped over and Frisella was not able to escape in time. He was caught underneath the roll bar as the vehicle rolled over his body, crushing him. He was only 30 years old with a wife and two sons.
The third such tragedy in the baseball world in a short period of time.

March 4, 1946 - January 1, 1977.

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