Joe Torre had in 1996 in his personal life, when brother Frank needed a heart and when he was able to get was, received the transplant at the same time the World Series was going on. As the New York Times wrote in 1998:
"Two years ago, as the Yankees were about to win the World Series,
Frank Torre, the older brother of the team's manager, Joe Torre,
received a heart transplant at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center from
a 28-year-old man who had died of a brain tumor.
'I got a chance to live again,' he was saying now. 'The next night, I was able to see the winning game in the World Series.'"
That was the magic of the Yankees, the Torres and that amazing run for New York. Frank was in the papers as much as Joe and the Yankees, and fans embraced the Torre family.
Frank was a decent ball player. He played ball from 1956 to 1963. He was signed in 1952 and '53, but didn't play... he chose military service instead. You need to tip you cap. A soldier, as well as a ballplayer, he was a fighter all along. His career numbers as a first baseman was .273, 13 homers and an OPS of .708 for the Milwaukee Braves and Philadelphia Phillies combined. But his positive attitude and ability to be a great teammate really carried him in his career.
Today though, as it finally rains in New York after weeks of none, Frank Torre has passed away. It's almost symbolic with all that's going on with the Yankees this year... both they and Frank appear to have run out of time. It's a sad day in baseball.
When I read that Frank died today, I felt sad. I felt bad for Yankeeland, but also for Joe and his family. It's been an incredible journey for us all, hasn't it? You have to take a moment and pause for the Torre family and say a prayer. I know I will.
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