Fordham AthleticsSchool Sports Team in Bronx, New York
Men’s Swimming & Diving Stay in Eighth at A-10 Championship
Women’s Swimming Remains Fifth After Day Three of A-10 Championship
Baseball Falls in Season Opener to Evansville in Extra Innings
Men’s Swimming & Diving Sits Eighth at A-10 Championship
Women’s Swimming & Diving in Fifth Place at A-10 Championship
Baseball Kicks Off 2018 Season in South Carolina
The Fordham Flash!
Featured Story by Author Ronald T. Waldo
Since the start of spring training is upon us, today’s glance back into baseball history is related to beginnings, or m...ore specifically how one of the game’s greats received his start at the major league level. Frank Francis “Frankie” Frisch was a lad, who was born on Long Island, New York and later moved with his family to the Bronx, who eventually received the opportunity to play baseball for the hometown New York Giants. Frisch polished his baseball skills as a youngster at both Fordham Prep and Fordham University.
Frankie played his college baseball under the guidance of former Giants third baseman Arthur McArthur “Art” Devlin, who coached the Fordham nine. Frisch’s baseball brilliance as a shortstop was noticed by many minor league magnates, including Jack Dunn of the International League’s Baltimore Orioles. Frankie’s father, not interested in a family member playing in a lower league including what he called “smaller cities,” told his son that it he failed to hook up with the New York Giants, the collegian would be better off joining him in the linen business.
Devlin informed Giants manager John McGraw about Frisch’s ability, and the star Fordham baseball player was asked to come to the Polo Grounds for a tryout. McGraw laughed when he saw that Frankie was a cross-handed hitter. Despite this moment of mirth, Frisch signed with New York on June 14, 1919. Understanding how things worked within the major league environment, Frankie figured that opportunities to play during the remainder of that season would be few.
When Frankie Frisch reported to the Giants, he found a cozy spot on the bench far away from where John McGraw sat, determined to watch and learn. Throughout the next month and a half, Frisch saw limited action as a replacement at third base and pinch hitter, before receiving his big break when the Cincinnati Reds arrived at the Polo Grounds on August 13, 1919, to play doubleheaders on three consecutive days against the Giants. Frankie explained during an interview in 1937 with J. G. Taylor Spink of the Sporting News how he seized his opportunity upon being installed into the starting lineup for the games on August 14.
“I did very little,” explained Frisch, in respect to when he first joined the New York Giants. “But McGraw kept coaching me to get rid of that batting style. And he soon satisfied himself that shortstop, which I had played at Fordham, was not my position. He told me to work around second base. Well, I worked and worked and worked, and the Giants were running second and the Reds from Cincinnati looked as if they meant business. They had never won a pennant, but under Pat Moran [Cincinnati’s manager in 1919], Jake Daubert and the other players were making World’s Series gestures."
“Larry Doyle, one of the best second sackers in the history of the league, was at that position for McGraw. In August, the Reds landed at the Polo Grounds for three straight doubleheaders.”
“Arthur Fletcher [New York’s shortstop] was captain of the Giants, and he called me over. ‘Frisch,’ he said, ‘the Old Man wants you to play second base.’”
“I figured the boys were ribbing me. They used to be a trifle rough with youngsters and I had been watching out. I laughed, and walked away.”
“‘Listen, no fooling, the Old Man said to tell you to play second base,’ Fletcher insisted. I finally was induced to go out to my position. Say, what a second base job I gave them. I backed up throws to third, I ran into left field for fly balls, I was right by the catcher when he caught fouls. I was all over the field, and must have got in Hal Chase’s hair [New York’s first baseman], as he warned me I was encroaching his territory.”
Through his exuberance, hustle, and pep, Frankie Frisch proved his true mettle and never looked back, remaining in New York’s starting lineup from that point forward. When it came to the birth of a major league career, Frankie barreled through the door with gusto, when opportunity came knocking.
-Author Ronald T. Waldo
New York Giants second baseman Frank Francis “Frankie” Frisch sliding into first base in 1923.
Swimming & Diving Kicks Off Competition at A-10 Championships