Danny Frisella
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Danny Frisella
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Game Log Pitching
Memories of
Danny Frisella
Danny Frisella
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 67 of 1043 players
Daniel Vincent Frisella
Born: March 4, 1946 at San Francisco, Cal.
Died: January 1, 1977 at Phoenix, Ariz.
Throws: Right Bats: Left
Height: 6.00 Weight: 195

Danny Frisella has been the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup 15 times, most recently on June 2, 2016.


First Mets game: July 27, 1967
Last Mets game: October 3, 1972

Share your memories of Danny Frisella


Alex Perlin
In 73 after Danny had been traded to Atlanta I went to the Essex House hotel on Central Park South to see if I could get his autograph while the Braves were in town. While I was getting my yearbook out for Danny to sign a hotel security man tossed me out of the building. Danny came out and not only signed the book for me, he took me to the coffee shop next door for a soda. I still have the book to this day.

Mickey D
Don't remember much of him as a pitcher for the Mets, but still remember what a shock it was in 1977 to read about his death. He died in a dune-buggy accident and don't think in the last 23 years I've ever seen a dune-buggy and not thought about Danny Frisella.

Andy K
December 28, 2000
I remember what a big deal it was when Danny Frisella moved into an apartment down the block from me when I was growing up in Queens. I used to ride my bike past where he lived just hoping for a glimpse of him but never saw him. It was disappointing when he was traded (and moved) and it was a shock when he died!

March 17, 2001
Threw a nasty forkball.

Curtis J. Cunningham
June 23, 2001
Grew up in the Bay Area where Danny was from, Had close friends that brought him to our house on visits during the off season. Was a real impact on me growing up! Played some night baketball with him on my driveway. Was just devestated as a teenager when he was tragically killed. He was truly BIGGER than life! Taught me direction and how to show sportsmanship at all times. A GREAT! GREAT! GUY.

Won Doney
July 9, 2001
It's intresting how the only year he didn't pitch much was 1969. Does anyone know what happened that year?

Lou C.
August 14, 2001
Back in 71 Danny made an appearance at our school/church with his wife Pam. There were so many kids there it was unbelievable. We all got our pictures signed by Danny and Pam. Every one of has that picture with both signatures on it. She's probably the only Met wife whose name we remember besides Tom Seaver's and Ray Knight's.

Pam Frisella
March 10, 2002
A friend just gave me a copy of the comments that appeared on this website, I made copies for my sons and we were somewhat surprised folks still remembered him....but hey these are Mets fans. Your comments brought back so many memories and warmed my heart....I still remain a Mets fan and the ultimate Danny Frisella fan. You can't imagine how much I miss those baseball games and the man I so enjoyed watching play "the game". It's hard to believe he died 25 years ago (our son Daniel was born on his birthday two months after he died)and he just turned 25 last Monday. My oldest son, Jason is 28 and we all still live in the Bay Area of San Francisco. Again, hello to any fans who read this and my best to all!!!!

Jim Snedeker
March 11, 2002
It's hard to find Mets fans who are of a certain age who don't remember Danny Frisella. I'd say he was one of the majors' most under-rated pitchers when he was in his prime. He and Tug McGraw were an awesome 1-2 punch coming out of the bullpen in the early 70s. And pictures of him and his family from the Mets yearbooks are permanently embedded in my memory.

And who else was throwing a forkball at the time?

I, too, don't ever see a dune buggy without thinking of Danny.

Joe Figliola
March 19, 2002
One of my earliest memories of Danny as a child was that he had the BUSHIEST eyebrows of any Met player. Eyebrows soon gave way to pitching, as I remember his nasty forkball and good relief pitching.

There are two baseball cards of his that stand out for me. The first is his 1972 Topps action card, which is a nice, bright full-body pose of him firing the forkball. The other was his posthumous 1977 Topps card, also a nice action card of him pitching for the Brewers. I'm glad they kept him in the set that year; it was a fitting tribute.

(Note: Topps issued a few cards of players who died in the off-season. They include Jim Umbricht and Ken Hubbs in 1964, Roberto Clemente in 1972, and Mike Miley in 1977. There are a couple of more, but I can't recall.)

Pam Frisella
April 23, 2002
I've received some emails from fans and have so enjoyed the email address has changed and I just wanted to forward that information. Thanks to all of you that have shared your memories, it truly warms my heart to know you still "care".

Ryan You
May 8, 2002
I am not old enough to have any experiences with Danny, but my PE teacher's sister is Pam Frisella who was married to Danny, I own some of his cards and I am a friend of Pam's. HI Pam!!! Hope to see you soon!!

Angela T.
September 4, 2002
One of my very best childhood memories was going to Shea Staduium for the first time. We sat in the seats over the bullpen and I saw Danny Frisella in the later innings and waved to him. He not only waved back and smiled, but talked to us throughout the rest of the game. What an absolute thrill it was and I'll never forget his kindness to a kid (me)!

December 19, 2002
I have been an autograph collecter for over 20 years now, and have amassed over 100,000 autographed items. Regardless of all the great names that I have obtained, my favorite autographed item is a Sporting News autographed by Danny Frisella. It is hard to believe that he has been gone 25 years.

Steven Gallanter
March 29, 2003
I believe Danny Frisella had a National Guard commitment in the Summer of 1969. Along with a man on the moon, Woodstock and the Miracle Mets, 1969 was the bloodiest year of the Vietnam era with 20,000 troops and untold 1000's of Asians dead. Harrelson, Boswell, and Garrett also had National Guard duty as I recall.

Frisella turned his forkball over so he could pitch to righties and lefties with equal effectiveness. Both Frisella and McGraw were immune to pinch hitters and stacked lineups.

The Mets bullpens of 70-72 with the 1-2 punch of Danny and Tug were far better than these so-called "role pitchers" who pitch 58 innings in 60 appearences. Frisella's high number of W's and L's and saves show that he was entrusted with tied scores. Danny Frisella was worthy of having on the mound with the game on the line. This was back when a reliever was a "fireman" who entered in the middle of an inning with the game on the line rather than just pitching the 9th with a 3-run lead.

I was thinking of Danny today as Tug McGraw is very ill. Pam Frisella if you are reading this we Met fans do remember...and wish you and yours well.

August 20, 2004
Frisella had a filthy forkball. He was the right-handed Tug. Leads were safe with him. He served his country well, too!

Dave Shaw
December 21, 2004
I remember sitting in the mezzanine 8/11/67 watching Frisella earn his first major league win, 3-2 over Pittsburgh. I also remember he had to leave in the 7th inning to report for Army reserve duty. Does anyone remember Harrelson and Boswell and maybe some others doing the same?

Pam Frisella
January 10, 2005
I received an email from a fan recently to tell me he was thinking about him on what was the 28th anniversary of his death. It sure means a lot to me that folks in New York still care about us.

For those who have my old email address....the fan that wrote yesterday still had the old one, I'm not sure how they get it. My new one is

Still love the connection to the best memories of my life.....with warm regards.

Jonathan Stern
January 11, 2005
I never saw Frisella play, but that he shared the bullpen with my all-time favorite ballplayer, The Tugger, is good enough for me. I read about him in Dick Schaap's book "The Year the Mets Lost Last Place" and was moved by his comments after he pitched poorly and was sent back to Tidewater. I was also sorry to read later on about his tragic death. Maury Allen, in his book on the team, mentioned that Pam Frisella always had parties and activities planned for the players and their wives. On this sad anniversary, best to you and yours, Mrs. Frisella, from a big fan of the 1969 Mets who was born in 1970.

February 27, 2005
I too remember Danny and Tug forming the most dependable relief tandem the Mets had until Jesse/Roger in the eighties! Like everyone else mentioned, he had that NASTY Forkball! As a 9 year old kid in 1972 I was angry when they made the deal with the Braves. (I didn't know who Millan and Stone were at the time.) I felt they were tearing apart the team! Mrs. Frisella needn't worry about Mets fans forgetting her husband; his place in the team's history will never be forgotten.

Mark Freedman
December 21, 2005
Wow, it is so nice to see Pam here. I was a young kid when Danny Frisella was on the Mets, but I always remember him. I remember watching him pitch last from the TV at our favorite Italian restaurant. So I always connect him to Italian food. It's so nice to hear the great stories about what a nice guy he was.

February 22, 2006
My first major league game was at County Stadium August 5th 1976. I was 9 years old, and going to see my favorite team, the Yankees. It threatened to rain all day. With Milwaukee ahead 5-0, the Yanks threatened in the 5th. After scoring 3 and with ducks on the pond, the Brewers summoned a guy with bushy eyebrows. He proceeded to come in, and strikeout 2 Yanks to end the threat. He came in to pitch the 6th as well, and K'ed the side. The Brewers scored 4 in the bottom of the 6th, then the skies opened up, and the game was halted. It was my first game, and the memory of a guy who dominated my team has stuck with me. I just was browsing the computer one day, and found this site and thought I should pitch in my 2 cents. I am sorry about his untimely death! I can remember my father, a Yankee nut upset that this guy came in and, quote, "Shut their water off." He seemed to do this with ease, in a pressure situation.

September 6, 2008
Pam, congratulations on being Mayor of Foster City, California! We hope you still periodically visit this site. Let's Go Mets!

BW Reilly
April 15, 2011
My brother Dennis Reilly (1944-2009) graduated with Danny Frisella from Serra High School in the Bay Area in 1963. Dennis played football, Danny baseball. There were two Serra alumni who played for the Mets in the 60s-70s, Danny and Jim Fregosi (one of the most infamous trades in the history of baseball -- Fregosi for Nolan Ryan).

Dennis was sitting in a restaurant in 1967 when he looked up at the TV screen and saw his friend Danny Frisella pitching for the Mets on WOR, Channel 9. They met and Danny gave him a tour of Shea Stadium and two complimentary tickets along the first base line vs the Giants.

I'll never forget that game, with Willie McCovey's towering home run off Frisella which hit the flag pole in center field. My family was living in NYC-Connecticut at the time so I was a big Mets fan. (Later, my brother mentioned that Willie Mac attended Frisella's services.)

Frisella was a starter for the Mets when he first came up from Tidewater AAA but was converted to the bullpen where he was an ace. He also played with Tom Seaver in Alaska pre-Mets, I believe.

It was pleasant to read where Frisella was a nice guy -- even buying a soda for a fan who asked for an autograph at a hotel, waving to fans, etc. My brother said he was a nice guy as well, with a soft high voice.

The good die young, but he left memories. Danny is listed in George Vecsey's "Joy in Mudville" book about the 1969 Miracle Mets. I wonder if there are any video tapes preserved of Danny being interviewed by Ralph Kiner from his after-game show Kiner's Korner on WOR? (I wonder if any of the interviews were preserved? I recall a player from my hometown of Stamford, Conn. interviewed when he was a rookie on the LA Dodgers -- Bobbie Valentine.)

Regards to his wife Pamela and family in the Bay Area.

Dick Casho
May 15, 2013
I coached Danny Frisella from when he was nine years old until his 16th birthday. I remember him always having a BIG SMILE ON HIS FACE. When I heard of his accident I was saddened. To his wife and family, my condolence.

Michele Frisella
August 11, 2015
I was in eighth grade when I met Danny. He was playing for the Mets and came to St. Louis, where I grew up. My uncle saw his name and invited him to his house to meet the St. Louis Frisellas. I think it was decided Danny's grandfather was a cousin of my grandfather.

In high school, I became a big Cardinals fan and would see Danny at the games when he pitched for Pittsburgh. I may have seen him when I worked at Busch Stadium during my college summers. I had left St. Louis by the time he pitched for the Cardinals.

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