Malzone's Sox forever Red
Catching up with Frank Malzone
BOSTON -- He handled the hot corner at Fenway for 11 seasons and is a member of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame.
Frank Malzone is considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest, third baseman in Red Sox history. From 1955-1965 Malzone hit .276 with 131 home runs and 716 RBI in 1,359 games.
A native of the Bronx, NY, Malzone signed with Boston as an amateur free agent prior to the 1948 season. He made his Red Sox debut during the 1955 season, playing in six games.
"I was in the minor leagues for quite awhile before I got an opportunity to play in the big leagues," said Malzone. "I was in the army for two years in '52 and '53 and when I got back they put me in Triple-A and wanted to see if I could still play.
"In '57 I got the chance to play third base and that was my first full year with the Red Sox. It was a big opportunity for me. I was at a stage in my career where I was either going to make it or be a career minor leaguer or go into baseball as a coach. Things turned out for me."
These days, the 74-year-old Malzone still lives in the Boston area, residing in Needham with his wife Amy. This August marks their 53rd wedding anniversary. They have four sons: Jimmy, Paul, Frank Jr., and John and one daughter, Anne Susan. Malzone also has six grandchildren and one great-grandson.
Throughout his career, Malzone set numerous records. During his first full season with Boston in 1957, he tied an American League record with ten assists in one game.
Also, Malzone became the first player in history to lead the league at third base in games, putouts, assists, double plays, and fielding percentage. He was an eight-time All-Star and won three straight Gold Gloves from 1957-59.
"As far as my personal achievements with the game I would say so because when you play ten full years and make the All-Star team eight times that is quite an accomplishment for myself," said Malzone. "The only thing that I regret is that I never got to play in the post-season. When I look back on my career unfortunately it was the dreaded Yankees and they won it eight of the 10 years."
Malzone passed his love of baseball to his son, John.
John Malzone played for a number of years in the Red Sox Minor league system, making it all the way to Triple-A Pawtucket. After his playing career, John coached in the Red Sox system, including one year with the Lowell Spinners (2002) as their hitting coach.
Today, John manages the Berkshire Dukes of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, the team owned by former Red Sox GM Dan Duquette.
"Any minor league kid just has to get an opportunity, but there was never one presented to him," said Malzone. "He always wanted to stay in baseball and he coached two years for the Red Sox in the minor leagues. The Red Sox let him go and it just didn't work out. This year he was just looking for something to stay in baseball and now he's managing for Dan Duquette in the Collegiate Baseball League."
Frank Malzone stayed around the game long after his playing days were behind him. He become an advanced scout with Boston for 27 years and then did major league work for Dan Duquette. He still works as a consultant with the Red Sox.
"I enjoyed the job a lot and enjoyed visiting the different cities," said Malzone. "As I got a little older I got tired with all the traveling. Its nice that I am able to relax a bit now, but still remain in the game as a consultant."
Malzone also makes several guest appearances for the Red Sox, including visits to the Legends Suite at Fenway Park. The Legends Suite allows a group of fans to watch a Red Sox game from one of the luxury suites with two Red Sox legends.
Malzone thinks this year's Red Sox squad has a chance to win it all.
"I think they have the players to win it," said Malzone. "They will go as far as their pitching takes them. Pitching is the name of the game and if our pitchers straighten themselves out I think we have a good chance."