Frank Tanana won 240 career games, yet never seemed to be on the tip of the tongue when you think of all time great pitchers; or even really good ones. Yet, a closer look at the Michigan native shows a Pitcher whose career was a lot better than you may initially think.
Tanana began his career as a flame throwing pitcher who in the mid to late 70’s had been a Cy Young threat and led the AL in Strikeouts in 1975. His control was solid too, as his WHIP and ERA were among the top ten during that time frame. Like many pitchers, Frank Tanana’s arm gave out and at the age of 25, had to reinvent himself as a junkball pitcher. It wasn’t the quickest transformation, but he would emerge a s a dependable starter for Texas and later his home town Detroit Tigers.
The man who “threw in the 90’s in the 70’s, and threw in the 70’s in the 90’s” may not be a Hall of Fame Pitcher, but he deserved to have gotten a better total than the zero he received in his lone year of eligibility. 240 Wins has never seemed so undervalued.
The Bullet Points: Country of Origin: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
Eligible Since: 1999
Played for: California Angels Boston Red Sox Texas Rangers Detroit Tigers New York Mets New York Yankees
Major Accolades and Awards: 3 Time All Star (1976, 1977 & 1978) Highest WAR for Pitchers (1) (AL) (1975) Lowest ERA (1) (AL) (1977) Most Strikeouts (1) (AL) (1975) Most Shutouts (1) (AL) (1977) Other Points of Note: Top Ten Cy Young Finishes: (AL: 1975, 4th), (AL: 1976: 3rd) & (AL: 1979: 9th) 3 Top Ten Finishes (Earned Run Average) 2 Top Ten Finishes (Wins) 3 Top Ten Finishes (Innings Pitched) 5 Top Ten Finishes (Strikeouts) 2 Top Ten Finishes (Complete Games) 3 Top Ten Finishes (WAR for Pitchers)
Notable All Time Rankings: 18. Games Started: 616 21. Strikeouts: 2,773 35. Innings Pitched: 4,188.3 55. Wins: 240 59. WAR for Pitchers: 55.1 83. Shutouts: 34
Vote Percentage Received for the Hall of Fame: 1999: 0.0