Tag Archives: frank viola

Happy Birthday Frank Viola!!!

Happy Birthday Frank Viola!!!

Frank Viola turns 54 years old today.

Frank Viola didn’t take baseball by storm the way some other pitchers did during their first season in the majors. Drafted out of college in 1981, Viola debuted with the Minnesota Twins in the middle of the 1982 season and the next year and a half were a learning process for both him and the Twins team.

It was not until the 1984 season when Viola took off and began dominating hitters. After going 11-25 in his first two seasons, Viola sparkled in ’84 when he went 18-12 while pitching 250+ innings. In each season from 1984-1993, Viola had double-digit wins with the most being 24 wins during the 1988 season.

In 1987, Viola helped the Twins win the World Series and he earned the World Series MVP Award for his outstanding pitching performance. Viola started 3 games against the Cardinals and went 2-1. He displayed amazing control in a pressure filled series as he only allowed 3 walks in 19+ innings, while striking out 16.

The ’88 season was very special for Viola. Not only did he go 24-7, but he also had the lowest ERA of his career at 2.64. That year, Viola earned 27 of the 28 first place votes for the Cy Young Award.

After 8 seasons with the Twins, Viola spent the last 7 years of his career playing for the New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, and lastly the Toronto Blue Jays.

With a career record of 176-150, Viola’s record does not stand out as an above average pitcher. But, when you examine the kinds of teams he played for and their success you begin to see how valuable his efforts were as most of these teams had losing records. With 4 Top 6 Cy Young award finishes, and 1 win of the award, Viola should go down as one of the most consistent pitchers of the 1980’s.

Happy Birthday Mr. Viola!!

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Happy Birthday Frank Viola!!!

Happy Birthday Frank Viola!!!

Frank Viola turns 53 years old today.

Frank Viola didn’t take baseball by storm the way some other pitchers did during their first season in the majors. Drafted out of college in 1981, Viola debuted with the Minnesota Twins in the middle of the 1982 season and the next year and a half were a learning process for both him and the Twins team.

It was not until the 1984 season when Viola took off and began dominating hitters. After going 11-25 in his first two seasons, Viola sparkled in ’84 when he went 18-12 while pitching 250+ innings. In each season from 1984-1993, Viola had double-digit wins with the most being 24 wins during the 1988 season.

In 1987, Viola helped the Twins win the World Series and he earned the World Series MVP Award for his outstanding pitching performance. Viola started 3 games against the Cardinals and went 2-1. He displayed amazing control in a pressure filled series as he only allowed 3 walks in 19+ innings, while striking out 16.

The ’88 season was very special for Viola. Not only did he go 24-7, but he also had the lowest ERA of his career at 2.64. That year, Viola earned 27 of the 28 first place votes for the Cy Young Award.

After 8 seasons with the Twins, Viola spent the last 7 years of his career playing for the New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, and lastly the Toronto Blue Jays.

With a career record of 176-150, Viola’s record does not stand out as an above average pitcher. But, when you examine the kinds of teams he played for and their success you begin to see how valuable his efforts were as most of these teams had losing records. With 4 Top 6 Cy Young award finishes, and 1 win of the award, Viola should go down as one of the most consistent pitchers of the 1980’s.

Happy Birthday Mr. Viola!!

R.A. Dickey Is First Met To Win 20 Games In A Season Since Frank Viola

R.A. Dickey Is First Met To Win 20 Games In A Season Since Frank Viola

From ASSOCIATED PRESS

R.A. Dickey was so close yet so far from 20 wins, faltering from fatigue and fuming he had failed to seize the moment.

“About the fourth or fifth inning I felt exasperated. I was not myself today for the most part,” he said.

“And then I’d come out for an at-bat and I would hear this kind of growing surge, and it really was neat. I mean I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced something like that before. Maybe I never will again. Although I wasn’t distracted from the moment, how could you not be motivated to go out there and give the fans and, well, your teammates and yourself all that you have?” he said.

Absorbing the energy from 31,506 fans at the final home game of another sorry Mets season, Dickey summoned his strength and concentration. David Wright boosted him into the lead with a tiebreaking three-run homer, and Dickey led New York over Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 Thursday to become the first knuckleballer in more than three decades to win 20 games.

“It’s like a big exhale,” Dickey said.

Throwing his hard knuckler at up to 78 mph, Dickey (20-6) allowed three runs and eight hits in 7 2-3 innings, tying his career high with 13 strikeouts and walking two.

With New York winding up its fourth straight losing season, he capped a trinity of highlights that began with the first Mets no-hitter by Johan Santana in June and continued with Wright setting the team career hits record on Wednesday.

“This was about R.A. today,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “It was about him. It was about his connection with the fans, the connection with the city. And so I said use that.”

Quite a turnaround from 2010, when Dickey began the season at Triple-A Buffalo and had to prove he belonged in the majors. And from last year, when he was 8-13.

The 37-year-old had never won more than 11 games in any previous season is just 61-56 in his big league career.

“I was the picture of mediocrity by my own admission,” he said.

But in the late stages of his career, he has mastered the knuckler — a pitch that has flummoxed most of those who have tried and must survive on fastballs.

“I think everybody here today would have taken one swing where they thought they were going to crush one and they swung right throw it,” Pirates outfielder Travis Snider said.

Dickey had never set a numerical goal for his pitching.

“It’s just much more for me if I can really harness the moment and suck the marrow out of every second, then I’ve done what I want to do and I can be satisfied,” he said.

Dickey became the first 20-game winner for the pitching-proud Mets since Frank Viola in 1990 and the first knuckleballer to accomplish the feat since Houston’s Joe Niekro in 1980, according to STATS LLC. Viola also reached 20 with a win over the Pirates.

Happy Birthday Frank Viola!!!

Happy Birthday Frank Viola!!!

Frank Viola turns 52 years old today.

Frank Viola didn’t take baseball by storm the way some other pitchers did during their first season in the majors.  Drafted out of college in 1981, Viola debuted with the Minnesota Twins in  the middle of the 1982 season and the next year and a half were a learning process for both him and the Twins team.

It was not until the 1984 season when Viola took off and began dominating hitters.  After going 11-25 in his first two seasons, Viola sparkled in ’84 when he went 18-12 while pitching 250+ innings.  In each season from 1984-1993, Viola had double-digit wins with the most being 24 wins during the 1988 season.

In 1987, Viola helped the Twins win the World Series and he earned the World Series MVP Award for his outstanding pitching performance.  Viola started 3 games against the Cardinals and went 2-1.  He displayed amazing control in a pressure filled series as he only allowed 3 walks in 19+ innings, while striking out 16.

The ’88 season was very special for Viola.  Not only did he go 24-7, but he also had the lowest ERA of his career at 2.64.  That year, Viola earned 27 of the 28 first place votes for the Cy Young Award.  

After 8 seasons with the Twins, Viola spent the last 7 years of his career playing for the New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, and lastly the Toronto Blue Jays. 

With a career record of 176-150, Viola’s record does not stand out as an above average pitcher.  But, when you examine the kinds of teams he played for and their success you begin to see how valuable his efforts were as most of these teams had losing records.  With 4 Top 6 Cy Young award finishes, and 1 win of the award, Viola should go down as one of the most consistent pitchers of the 1980’s.

Happy Birthday Mr. Viola!!

Frank Viola 2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites

Frank Viola 2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites

I am very happy to see that Topps honored Viola’s 1988 baseball season with their 2004 All-Time Fan Favorites set.

Viola was unreal in 1988, and the fact that he and his team were coming off of a World Series championship makes his success even more impressive in this baseball fan’s eyes.

Viola’s numbers from 1988:  24-7 record, 7 complete games, 2 shutouts, 2.64 ERA in 255 innings of work, 193 strikeouts, 3.57:1 striekout to walk ratio.

Viola won the American League Cy Young Award in 1988, and he also made his first All-Star team.

Way to go Frank!!!

Frank Viola 1983 Fleer – This One Is For The Ladies!!!

Frank Viola 1983 Fleer – This One Is For The Ladies!!!

So, let me set the scene for you.

It’s Saturday night, the room is dark.  It’s closing in on 2AM and the whole place smells of beer, popcorn, and Brut.  You’re by yourself trying to wind down after a very long and stress-filled week.

And as you take your last sip from your glass of wine and gather yourself as you prepare to head for the door, you rotate yourself to the left to get off of your bar stool and you see this:

“Hi There!!!!”

Enjoy Girls!!!  🙂

Happy Birthday Frank Viola!!!

Happy Birthday Frank Viola!!!

Frank Viola turns 51 years old today.

Frank Viola didn’t take baseball by storm the way some other pitchers did during their first season in the majors.  Drafted out of college in 1981, Viola debuted with the Minnesota Twins in  the middle of the 1982 season and the next year and a half were a learning process for both him and the Twins team.

It was not until the 1984 season when Viola took off and began dominating hitters.  After going 11-25 in his first two seasons, Viola sparkled in ’84 when he went 18-12 while pitching 250+ innings.  In each season from 1984-1993, Viola had double-digit wins with the most being 24 wins during the 1988 season.

In 1987, Viola helped the Twins win the World Series and he earned the World Series MVP Award for his outstanding pitching performance.  Viola started 3 games against the Cardinals and went 2-1.  He displayed amazing control in a pressure filled series as he only allowed 3 walks in 19+ innings, while striking out 16.

The ’88 season was very special for Viola.  Not only did he go 24-7, but he also had the lowest ERA of his career at 2.64.  That year, Viola earned 27 of the 28 first place votes for the Cy Young Award.  

After 8 seasons with the Twins, Viola spent the last 7 years of his career playing for the New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, and lastly the Toronto Blue Jays. 

With a career record of 176-150, Viola’s record does not stand out as an above average pitcher.  But, when you examine the kinds of teams he played for and their success you begin to see how valuable his efforts were as most of these teams had losing records.  With 4 Top 6 Cy Young award finishes, and 1 win of the award, Viola should go down as one of the most consistent pitchers of the 1980’s.

Happy Birthday Mr. Viola!!