Saturday, December 30, 2017

Final Card - Frank Bolling

At age 85, Frank Bolling is the oldest living player from the 1965-70 time period that I have not yet blogged about.

This is Frank’s final card (#269), even though he continued to be the Braves’ starting 2nd baseman for part of the 1966 season (a job he held since the start of the 1961 season).


Bolling was signed by the Tigers in June 1951. He played in the minors for the rest of that season, and all of 1952-53.

He made his major-league debut in April 1954, taking over the starting 2nd base job that was manned in ’53 by Johnny Pesky and others.

After missing 1 year (1955) in military service, Bolling returned to the Tigers as their regular 2nd baseman for the next 5 seasons, and had more than 640 plate appearances in 2 of those seasons. Frank also won a Gold Glove award in 1958.

In December 1960, Bolling and outfielder Neil Chrisley were traded to the Milwaukee Braves for pitcher Terry Fox, catcher Dick Brown, 2nd baseman Chuck Cottier, and center fielder Bill Bruton.

Frank matched his season-high home run total with 15 in 1961, and was an All-Star in his first 2 seasons with the Braves. He was the regular 2nd baseman through the 1965 season, starting 141 games in his final season as a regular.

In 1966 he only started 57 games, since shortstop Woody Woodward was splitting his time between shortstop and 2nd base, and the Braves were also working rookie Felix Millan into the lineup.

Bolling’s last game was on 9/15/1966, and he was released after the season, ending his 12-year career. In 12 seasons he played 12,983 innings, and all at 2nd base!

Frank’s brother Milt was an infielder for the Red Sox in the 1950s.

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