Saturday, May 29, 2010

Back on Topps Radar: Frank Quilici

Frank Quilici (#557) first appeared on a card in the 1966 set. After being left out of the 1967 set, he returns here, for the first of several consecutive seasons.

Quilici was signed by the Twins in 1961. After 4 1/2 seasons in the minors, he made his major-league debut in July 1965, and was the Twins' starting 2nd baseman for long stretches of games in July and September. He also played every inning at 2nd base for the Twins in the 1965 World Series. It's puzzling why he then spent the entire 1966 season back in triple-A. (Maybe an old-school Twins' fan can clear this up?)

In 1967, Frank played 11 games at triple-A and only 23 games with the Twins. Why the colossal lack of playing time? Two words: Rod Carew. That was Carew's rookie season, so any chance of Quilici recapturing his 1965 role went up in smoke.

In 1968, Quilici's playing time increased, as he started 40+ games each at 2B and 3B. The following year was even better for him, as he was a quasi-starter at 3rd base. Regular 3rd baseman Harmon Killebrew also played a significant number of games at 1st base, opening up 3rd for Quilici. (The same arrangement was used several years earlier with Killebrew, Don Mincher, and Rich Rollins.)

1970 was Frank's last season in the majors, and he went out in a flurry of activity. He played in 111 games, starting 41 of them at 2nd base (as Carew was limited to 45 games at 2nd base that season).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Quilici then went on to be a poor color man for a while on the Twins' radio broadcasts.