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frank tanana, 1977 topps #200, angels

Player: Tanana, Frank

Card: 1977 Topps #200

Position: LHP

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"My best pitch has always been control. I lost some velocity, but at the same time, thank God, I didn't lose my control. That's 90% of pitching, keeping the hitter off balance." - Frank Tanana in Baseball Digest (October 1982, Page 6)

Frank's career stretched from 1973 to 1993. He pitched for the California Angels, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, New York Mets, and New York Yankees. He struck out 2,773 batters in his career and twice won playoff-clinching games for the teams he was on, the 1979 Angels and the 1987 Tigers.

Frank was raised in northwest Detroit. His father, also named Frank, had played professional baseball in the 1950s and was on the 1955 Eastern League championship team, the Reading Indians, before he left baseball and joining the Detroit Police Department.

Frank was a first-round draft pick by the Angels in 1971. He made his debut with the team in 1973 and won 14 games his rookie year. Tanana and fellow starter Nolan Ryan formed one of the toughest pairs of starting pitchers to hit against in baseball. Tanana led the American League (AL) in strikeouts in 1975, then made the AL All-Star team three years in a row. He won 19 games in 1976 and led the AL with a 2.54 earned run average (ERA) in 1977. In 1979, he won the game that clinched the Angels' first-ever playoff appearance.

Once labeled California's most-eligible-bachelor while a high-spirited, fun-loving young lefty sensation, Frank Tanana credits the death of murdered teammate Lyman Bostock with helping put his life and career in a more proper, balanced perspective. After becoming a born-again Christian in November 1983, Tanana became a leader among baseball's Christian community.

In his Letters from Home Plate response, Frank lists Sandy Koufax and Al Kaline as his favorite players growing up, Ricky Henderson as the toughest hitter he ever faced, and Tiger Stadium as his favorite park to play in.

(excerpted from Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen, and Wikipedia)


1976 Topps #490
1978 Topps #600
1978 O-Pee-Chee #7
1979 Topps #530
1981 Donruss #171
1981 Fleer #276
1987 Topps #726
1990 Bowman #343 (Autographed)
1991 Topps #236
1992 Upper Deck #605


Frank Tanana is part of the All-Star Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

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

Frank is also part of the New York Yankee Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

Frank is also part of the Boston Red Sox Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

See all of Frank’s baseball cards at TCDB

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