Frank Catalanotto, 2001 Fleer Tradition, Rangers

Player: Catalanotto, Frank

Card: 2001 Fleer Tradition #24

Position: LF/2B/1B

It seemed like I was on the right page with the pitcher at all times. Whatever I was looking for, I got it right in that spot. It’s an unbelievable feeling (going 6-for-6). Nights like this don’t come around very often, so you want to take advantage of them and enjoy them.” – Frank Catalanotto (May 1, 2004)

Frank John Catalanotto (born April 27, 1974 in Smithtown, LI, NY) played in MLB for 14 years for the Tigers, Rangers, Blue Jays, Brewers and Mets. In his career, Catalanotto played all infield and outfield positions except shortstop and center field.

Growing up in Smithtown, he could not wait for his father, Frank Sr., to come home from his accounting firm for their nightly catch, and the evening was not complete without seeing the Yankees on television. He was not alone in cheering on his favorite Yankee, Don Mattingly.

Originally signed by the Detroit Tigers after being a 10th round pick in the 1992 amateur draft, Catalanotto made his big league debut in the Motor City that September, seeing lots of at bats as a pinch hitter while covering each of the bases in three seasons, from 1997 to 1999.

After that, Frank headed to the Texas Rangers in a big nine-player trade featuring Juan Gonzalez and came in bats blazing, reaching base safely in 13 straight plate appearances (10 hits, 3 walks) spanning a month of action due to injury, including going 5-for-5 with against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on May 17, 2000. He broke out in 2001 with a superb .330/.391/.490 line in 133 games, finishing fifth in the AL batting race while seeing more action in the outfield.

After joining the Toronto Blue Jays, in four seasons from 2003 to 2006, his batting average never dropped below .293 and he played more than 125 games three times. On May 1, 2004, he established a Toronto single-game record for hits by going 6-for-6 in the second game of a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox. Following two .300 seasons (.301/.367/.451 in 130 games in 2005 and .300/.376/.439 in 128 games in 2006),

In 2012, Catalanotto published his autobiography, entitled “Heart and Hustle“. He became head coach of New York Institute of Technology for the 2019 season. In his first season, he led the school to its first ever appearance in the Division II College World Series, going 37-16. In 2013, 2016 and 2017, Frank coached Squadra Italia in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Frank is also an Executive Board member of the Italian American Baseball Foundation, and is on Twitter @fcat27.

(excerpted from SABR, Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)

1998 Fleer Sports Illustrated #168
1998 Upper Deck #372
2003 Fleer Tradition #94
2007 Topps #174

Listen to Larry Baldassaro’s interview with Frank here – or view the Next Stop on the Baseball Italian Style Tour


Frank is part of the New York City Born Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop


Frank is also part of the Detroit Tigers Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop


Frank has also been an IABF Honoree – Go to the Next Stop


See Frank’s baseball cards at TCDB

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