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"If military service hadn't intervened, Frank Lamanna may have been a major league regular. But would it have been as a pitcher or a slugging outfielder?" (FindAGrave)
Frank "Hank" LaManna (b. August 22, 1919 in Homer City, PA – d. September 1, 1980 in Syracuse, NY) was a professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1940 to 1942 for the Boston Bees / Braves. He entered professional baseball in 1938 before his MLB callup in 1940.
Described as a dead-ringer for Joe DiMaggio in the way he looked and walked, Lamanna was signed by the Boston Braves organization in 1938 and assigned to the Huntington Bees of the Class D Mountain State League.
While in the majors, he was also an outfielder in addition to pitching. Lamanna joined the MLB Boston Bees for spring training in 1940 and stayed with the club when they headed north. In five appearances before being optioned in May to the Hartford Bees of the Class A Eastern League, he was 1-0 with a 4.73 ERA. With Hartford, the 20-year-old was 13-8 with a 3.36 ERA, while batting .303 with four home runs and 30 RBIs as a part-time outfielder.
Lamanna spent all of 1941 with the Braves, pitching in 35 games (only four as a starter) for a 5-4 record and 5.33 ERA. Also used as a pinch-hitter and outfielder, he batted .281.
He was out of baseball from 1943–45 when he served in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. Following the war, he returned to baseball playing from 1946–53.
Overall, Hank pitched 13 seasons, 1938 to 1953, three in the major leagues and 12 in the minors. He died at age 61 at St. Joseph Hospital in Syracuse, NY and is buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in Syracuse.
Hank is part of the Military Service during Wartime Tour – go to the Next Stop
Hank is also part of the Braves Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop
See Hank’s baseball cards at TCDB
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