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Frank Tanana
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Game Log Pitching
Memories of
Frank Tanana
Frank Tanana
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 444 of 1043 players
Frank Daryl Tanana
Born: July 3, 1953 at Detroit, Mich.
Throws: Left Bats: Left
Height: 6.03 Weight: 205


First Mets game: April 17, 1993
Last Mets game: September 14, 1993

Share your memories of Frank Tanana


June 22, 2001
When he came up, he was a fireballer -- he and Nolan Ryan were a lethal lefty-righty tandem. Then he hurt his elbow, and it's really a credit to Tanana that he reinvented himself as a finesse guy and hung around long enough to win more than 200 games. But by the time he got to the Mets, he was really running on fumes. There were days he'd pitch pretty well, but everything had to be just right -- he was always on the edge of being pounded (and quite often was).

Joe Figliola
July 24, 2001
Despite going 7-15 in 1993, Frank went 5-5 in the 10- plus games I scored him. He was, however, great to score as a hitter.

Frank batted .250 for me with five hits, including a triple against the Reds in Cincinnati in August. Can you imagine a then 30-year-old man listening to the radio with his scorebook and screaming "COME ON! COME ON!" the moment he heard that Tanana was trying to make it to third? Well, I sure can!

Then again, when a guy like Tanana goes 19 seasons with only one career at-bat and comes to play on your favorite team, you can't help but want to see him get (or, in my case, score) those hits!

Marcel Bieler
September 3, 2001
I saw my first baseball game ever on 28-Apr-93 in Candlestick Park. The Giants were playing the Mets and Frank Tanana was starting for the Mets. Ever since I have seen many more games but I think it's great that I have seen such a great pitcher in my first game. Since Frank's start in this game is not included on the bottom of this page I have included his line for that day:

IP 7 BF 30 R 2 ER 2 H 8 BB 3 K 2 No decision

adam tanana
December 22, 2001
oh my god I love you dad! youre the best! you taught me everything you know!

Benny Tanana
December 24, 2001
First of all, I don't think that the legions of devoted fans understand Frank Tanana's lineage. He has fathered four sons since 1981. I am one of them, the other three and I have formed a band called FRANK TANANA!!!!!!!!We play in and around the Detroit and Bloomington area, and we constantly bask in the glory of his Hall of Fame Righteousness. All the music is for and about "Frankie T" as we affectionately call him. If anybody has any highlight films of Frankie T's glory, send them on to me. My home address is not the same as Frank's, for he is too Holy to live with mere half-mortals such as us. BASEBALL ROCK N ROLL!!!

"Jim Jim" Tanana
December 24, 2001
I am the fourth son. I learned to play the drums by listening to the "uh!" sound my Dad would make when he would be pitching, and the sound of the ball smacking the mit. I developed a sense of rhythm because of him. I Love You Dad.

Mike Morgan
February 28, 2002
I loved Frank Tanana during his Tigers days. He was outstanding with those slow curves. I saw one game when he was with the Mets where he hit a triple. FRANK TANANA HIT A TRIPLE? He was laughing standing on thrid. It was a great baseball moment!

October 25, 2002
I remember seeing Tanana face off against the Marlins' Charlie Hough in what I have since dubbed "The Battle of the Dinosaurs". It was during the Mets' dark years in a game the only other memory of which I have not repressed is a Jeromy *whiff!!* Burnitz home run.

Hey! I found the boxscore!

I guess the memories are fuzzy because I drank heavily before the game, quite the accomplishment considering that it was a day game. The 1993 Mets were the type of team you could only watch drunk. God Bless You Bob Murphy! Keep the Rheingold flowing!

Mike L. Morgensen
November 11, 2002
I go back to being a '70s kid who'd drag his dad to the Big A in hopes of seeing Frank fan 10 or more. I remember naively believing Angel pitching coach Marv Grissom promise throughout 1978 that his fastball would come back "any day now". I was still following Frank's career when he become a committed Christian - about the same time I accepted Christ as well - and have appreciated his testimony ever since. I was bummed when he didn't make it out of the spring training with the Angels in '94 - it would have been great to have him back in Anaheim for one final season. I waited patiently for the Angels to change their logo back to the traditional haloed A to put 'TANANA 40' on the back of a new jersey. Last month while leaving the stadium after Game 3's victory in the ALCS, a joyous young man ran up to shake my hand yelling "Frank's my cousin! You've got my cousin's jersey on!" I can't validate the relationship, but maybe one of Frank's sons can corroborate the story with the extended family. Frank Tanana's achievements are still appreciated out here, some 25 years after the fact. His name on the back of my jersey never fails to elicit knowing smiles, high fives, and shouts of encouragement from Halo fans whenever I wear it at the stadium.

Bob P
January 15, 2004
According to espn.com's Jayson Stark, Frank is the holder of an obscure "record," if you want to call it that.

Tanana won 233 games in the American League for the Angels, Red Sox, Rangers, and Tigers, before winning his first National League game with the Mets. No other pitcher has ever won more AL games before winning an NL game.

Unfortunately, Frank's "record" will probably be broken this year by our good friend Roger Clemens.

February 1, 2004
I had never heard of Frank Tanana when I went to see the Yankees play the Angels at Shea - I sat up in the nosebleeds and I swear I never heard the pop of the catcher's mitt so clearly from that distance.

rich edwards
February 13, 2004
In 1976 pitching for the Angels, he has an 8-0 lead against the Yankees in the bottom of the ninth at the stadium. He gives up a few runs, gets taken out, the Yanks score 8 times, game goes extra innings and Tanana gets no decision. He wins 19 that year.

July 13, 2004
He made it into "The Ancient and Noble Order of the D Train," that club of players who have toiled for the Yankees and Mets, late in 1993. I'll bet he was glad to leave the 1993 Mets, which were a rolling disaster.

But landing in The Bronx that year was like jumping out of a crashing plane and finding out that your parachute is really an anvil.

Jonathan Stern
January 11, 2005
1993. The memories keep flooding back, and oh! what bliss...

Tanana was pressed into service to do a commercial with the Murph for 1993 Ball Day. Murphy began the commercial by saying, "I'm sitting here with crafty lefthander Frank Tanana..." and then asked him about his secret. Tanana responded with all the enthusiasm of a dental patient: "Well, Bob, ya gotta start with a good baseball." Tanana held out a baseball and they then faced the camera. The look on their both of their faces said it all: This is a lame commercial.

I wrote a few things about Tanana in my entry on Randy Jones, so I'll briefly repeat here. Tanana was an old-school gamer who maintained his dignity and his self-discipline on one of the most atrocious teams of all time. Indeed, he may have been their best pitcher that year. One of my favorite Mets ever, even though he was only here for part of a season and, probably, does not want to even remember that "part of a season." It's too bad this borderline Hall of Famer never played on a pennant winner.

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