Name: Viola, Frank
Card: 1988 Topps #365
Born and raised in Hempstead, Long Island, New York, Frank John Viola Jr. is a former starting pitcher who played for the Minnesota Twins (1982–1989), New York Mets (1989–1991), Boston Red Sox (1992–1994), Cincinnati Reds (1995), and Toronto Blue Jays (1996). A three-time All-Star, he was named World Series MVP with the Twins in 1987 and won the AL Cy Young Award in 1988. Long-time Tigers manager Sparky Anderson said of Viola, “…He’s an artist; I love watching him work…”
He was nicknamed “Sweet Music” – a nickname he picked up after a Minnesota sports writer declared that when Viola pitched, there was “Sweet Music” in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The nickname was a play on the fact that his last name is also a name of a musical instrument, although pronounced differently.
A fan began displaying a banner bearing the phrase in the outfield’s upper deck whenever he pitched. Twins fans considered the banner to be a good luck charm. The banner is now the property of the Minnesota Historical Society. It was again displayed when Viola was inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame.
In Frank’s first 10 full seasons (1983-1992), he averaged 245 innings per year; an ace and a workhorse.
Frank was honored as a member of the Twins’ “All Dome” team in 2009. In 2015, he was also inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame for his time at St. John’s University where he was named a first-team All-American by Baseball America.
His son Frank III, was a pitcher at Florida Community College who pitched in the low minors for the White Sox in 2005 and 2007, and his daughter Brittany was a diver who made the U.S. Olympic team for the 2012 summer games.
Frank is part of the Topps Card Tour – 1988 Topps – Go to the Next Stop
Frank is the last stop on the MVP/Cy Young Tour – Go Home
Sweet Music is part of the All-Star Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Frank is also part of the Red Sox Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop
Frank is part of the Cincinnati Reds Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
See all of Frank’s baseball cards at TCDB
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