Frank John Viola Jr. (born April 19, 1960) is an American former starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the Minnesota Twins (1982–1989), New York Mets (1989–1991), Boston Red Sox (1992–1994), Cincinnati Reds (1995), and Toronto Blue Jays (1996). A three-time All-Star, he was named World Series MVP with the Twins in 1987 and won the AL Cy Young Award in 1988. Long-time Tigers manager Sparky Anderson said of Viola, "...He's an artist; I love watching him work..." He is the pitching coach of the High Point Rockers.
He batted and threw left-handed, and he was nicknamed "Sweet Music" – a nickname he picked up after a Minnesota sports writer declared that when Viola pitched, there was "Sweet Music" in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The nickname was a play on the fact that his last name is also a name of a musical instrument, although pronounced differently. A fan began displaying a banner bearing the phrase in the outfield's upper deck whenever Viola pitched. Twins fans considered the banner to be a good luck charm. The banner is now the property of the Minnesota Historical Society. It was again displayed when Viola was inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame. Frank was honored as a member of the Twins' "All Dome" team in 2009.
Viola (left) at the White House in 1987
|Born: April 19, 1960|
East Meadow, New York
|June 6, 1982, for the Minnesota Twins|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 28, 1996, for the Toronto Blue Jays|
|Earned run average||3.73|
|Career highlights and awards|
Viola was born and grew up in East Meadow, New York, with his brother John and sister Nancy, and he went on to attend and play baseball for East Meadow High School before playing at the collegiate level for St. John's University. On May 21, 1981, Viola faced future Mets teammate Ron Darling, then playing for Yale University; the game is considered to be the best in college baseball history. Viola was drafted following his senior year in the 16th round of the 1979 Major League Baseball draft by the Kansas City Royals, but he did not sign.
Viola signed with the Minnesota Twins after the team drafted him in the second round of the 1981 Major League Baseball draft. After spending less than a full season in the minor leagues, Viola made his major league debut on June 6, 1982. Although his statistics were fairly disappointing—he finished 11–25 with a 5.37 ERA in the 1982 and 1983 seasons—Viola became a permanent fixture of the Twins' starting staff for the next 7 seasons, picking up 112 of his 176 career wins.
Viola helped pitch the Twins to their second World Series appearance and first World Series win in 1987; he finished the season with a 17–10 record, a 2.90 ERA, and 197 strikeouts in 251 2/3 innings. Viola would then sparkle in the post-season, going a combined 3–1 with 25 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings despite a 4.31 ERA. Following the Twins' Game 7 series–clinching win—a game which Viola won 4–2—he was named the 1987 World Series Most Valuable Player.
Most baseball enthusiasts agree that Viola's best year was 1988, his last full year with the Twins. That year, he threw his signature circle change with skill, compiling an impressive 24–7 record with 7 complete games and 2 shutouts in 255 innings pitched with a career-low ERA of 2.64. He also gave up only 20 home runs and 54 walks. Viola led the league in wins and would go on to win the AL Cy Young Award in a landslide, finishing with 27 of the 28 first-place votes and beating out second-place Dennis Eckersley by 86 total votes.
At the trade deadline in July 1989—two years after Viola had led the Twins to a World Series title—the Twins traded him to the New York Mets for four pitchers and a player to be named later. Viola was not having a strong year and was 8–12 when he was traded, but he managed a 5–5 record with the Mets and finished the year at 13–17. Meanwhile, two of the pitchers the Twins acquired in the deal went on to become key members of the team; Kevin Tapani was one of the front-line starters for the Twins in their 1991 World Series run while Rick Aguilera eventually became the team's closer and one of the better relievers in the major leagues.
Viola had a much better year in 1990, winning 20 games for the second time in his career. He would finish third in the Cy Young Award voting behind Pittsburgh's Doug Drabek and Los Angeles' Ramón Martínez, and he was named to the National League's All-Star Team.
In 1991, Viola made the All-Star Game for a third time after posting an 11–5 record in the first half of the season. However, as the Mets collapsed in the second half of the year to finish with a 78–84 record, Viola collapsed with them and went 2–10 in his final 12 decisions. His last win came in his second-to-last start with the Mets on September 29 at Shea Stadium against the Philadelphia Phillies. He became a free agent after the 1991 season when the Mets opted not to resign Viola.
He signed with the Red Sox in January 1992. In a spring training game on April 2, 1993, Viola and Cory Bailey combined on a no-hitter as the Red Sox defeated the Phillies 10–0 at Jack Russell Memorial Stadium in Clearwater, Florida. He was injured while with the Red Sox and underwent Tommy John surgery. He finished his career with the Reds and Blue Jays, ending his career on May 28, 1996. He finished his career with 1844 strikeouts.
He only got one chance in the postseason, and he certainly made the most of it when his Twins faced the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. After getting past the Detroit Tigers in the 1987 American League Championship Series, Viola and the Twins had to face the favored Cardinals. Viola pitched Game 1 and led the Twins to a 10–1 route of the Cards. Viola's second start came in Game 4, and the Twins went on to lose 7–2. After the Twins tied the series in Game 6 with an 11–5 win thanks to a Kent Hrbek grand slam, it was up to Viola in Game 7. He pitched a gem, shutting the Cardinals out after giving up two runs in the second inning. Jeff Reardon pitched the ninth inning, and the Twins won 4–2 on the way to a 4–3 series win. Viola was named World Series MVP.
In retirement, Viola coached baseball for Lake Highland Preparatory School for a time in Orlando, Florida. He also coached with the Florida College Summer League's Leesburg Lightning. In 2009, Viola assisted the Cleveland Indians as a coach in spring training. Frank was also a part-time, substitute game broadcast announcer for NESN, network of the Boston Red Sox. On January 26, 2011, Viola was hired as pitching coach of the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets' Single-A (Short Season) team. Viola spent 2012–2013 as the Single-A Affiliate Savannah Sand Gnats pitching coach, winning Coach of the Year in 2013. Following the season, Viola was named the pitching coach for the Las Vegas 51s, the Mets' Triple-A affiliate in the Pacific Coast League. During a 2014 spring training physical, Viola was diagnosed with a heart condition that required open-heart surgery on April 2. After surgery he signed with Las Vegas 51s. He continued as the pitching coach for the Las Vegas 51s through the 2017 season. For 2018 season, Frank served as the pitching coach for the Mets Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies.  He has joined the High Point Rockers of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball as the pitching coach for 2019. 
Daughter Brittany was a diver at the University of Miami becoming the 2008 and 2011 platform diving NCAA National Champion. Brittany narrowly missed making the 2004 United States Olympic diving team, but later competed at the 2012 London Olympics.
Son Frank III attended Florida College and was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 29th round of the 2004 MLB draft. Frank III struggled with injuries (including needing Tommy John surgery) and only pitched in 24 games at rookie level Bristol White Sox before being released following the 2007 season. In 2010, he pitched for the independent league St. Paul Saints and was 1-2 with a 4.58 ERA in 21 games before retiring from professional baseball. He now serves as analyst for Bright House Sports Network on their studio show and for their Florida State League broadcasts. Starting in 2012, Frank III has worked with R.A. Dickey and Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro on developing a knuckleball to resurrect his baseball career. In December 2012, he appeared as himself on the How I Met Your Mother episode "The Final Page", where he is on the phone with Marshall, one of the main characters. On March 5, 2014, he was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays to a minor league contract and currently pitches for the Dunedin Blue Jays in the Advanced Single A Florida State League.
One of the fans Curry was able to spend a few moments with was former Cy Young Award winner Frank Viola, whose daughter, Kaley, is an assistant volleyball coach at Davidson.
The 1983 Minnesota Twins finished 70–92, fifth in the AL West. 858,939 fans attended Twins games, the third-lowest total in the American League.1984 Minnesota Twins season
The 1984 Minnesota Twins season was a season in American baseball. The team finished with a record of 81-81, tied for second in the American League West, and three games behind the division winner Kansas City Royals. Their 81-81 record was an 11-game improvement from 1983, and a 21-game improvement from their 102-loss season of 1982 (the third-worst record in franchise history).
1,598,692 fans attended Twins games, a Twins attendance record, but still the fifth-lowest total in the American League. Towards the end of the season, Calvin Griffith sold the club to local investor Carl Pohlad.1985 Minnesota Twins season
The 1985 Minnesota Twins finished with a record of 77-85, tied for fourth in the American League West, and 14 games behind the division winner and eventual World Series champion Kansas City Royals.1987 Major League Baseball season
The 1987 Major League Baseball season ended with the American League Champion Minnesota Twins winning the World Series over the National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals, four games to three, as all seven games were won by the home team.
Future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey, Jr. was selected with the #1 overall pick in the draft in June by the Seattle Mariners.1987 World Series
The 1987 World Series was the 84th edition of Major League Baseball's championship series, and the conclusion of the 1987 Major League Baseball season. It was a best-of-seven playoff played between the American League (AL) champion Minnesota Twins and the National League (NL) champion St. Louis Cardinals. The Twins defeated the Cardinals four games to three to win the Series. Twins pitcher Frank Viola was named as the 1987 World Series MVP.
Minnesota was victorious in a World Series that was the first to feature games played indoors. It was also the first World Series in which the home team won every game; this happened again in 1991 (also a Twins championship, this time over the Atlanta Braves) and in 2001 with the Arizona Diamondbacks defeating the New York Yankees.
The World Series win was the first for the Twins franchise since 1924, when the team was located in Washington, D.C., and was known as the Washington Senators.
This is the first World Series in which the series logo appeared on the jerseys; only the Cardinals wore it, however, while the Twins did not.1988 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1988 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 59th playing of the "Midsummer Classic" between Major League Baseball's American League (AL) and National League All-Star teams. The All-Star Game was held on July 12, 1988, at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, the home of the NL's Cincinnati Reds.
The game resulted in the AL defeating the NL 2-1. Terry Steinbach, a catcher for the AL's Oakland Athletics, won the All-Star game's most valuable player award. Steinbach was credited with both of the AL's two runs in the game. Frank Viola of the Minnesota Twins was the winning pitcher.1988 Minnesota Twins season
The 1988 Minnesota Twins finished at 91-71, second in the AL West. 3,030,672 fans attended Twins games, at the time, establishing a new major league record. Pitcher Allan Anderson had his most successful season in 1988, winning the American League ERA title at 2.45 and compiling a record of 16-9 in 30 starts.1989 Minnesota Twins season
The 1989 Minnesota Twins finished 80-82, fifth in the AL West. 2,277,438 fans attended Twins games, the seventh highest total in the American League.1991 Minnesota Twins season
The 1991 Minnesota Twins of Major League Baseball (MLB) won the World Series, the second time the Twins had won the World Series since moving to Minnesota in 1961. During the 1991 regular season the Twins had an MLB-leading 15-game win streak, which remains a club record. On June 18, 1991, the streak came to an end at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles but not before the Twins moved from fifth place to first, a lead they would not relinquish until winning baseball's championship. The Twins' winning streak of 1991 falls just seven games short of the all-time American League (AL) record of 22 consecutive regular season wins set by the Cleveland Indians in 2017.
The Twins finished 95-67, first in the AL West, which represented a turnaround from 1990, when the team finished last in the division with a 74-88 record. They were the first team to go from a last-place finish to a World Series championship. They and the Atlanta Braves were the first teams to go from last place to a pennant. The Twins defeated the Braves in seven games in a Series which has been considered one of the best to have ever been played.There was a considerable reshaping of the team in January and February, beginning when third baseman Gary Gaetti left as a free agent on January 25 and signed with the California Angels. Less than 12 hours after Gaetti's departure, the Twins signed free agent Mike Pagliarulo from the New York Yankees as a new third baseman. Two more key free agent signings followed with designated hitter Chili Davis on January 30 and St. Paul native Jack Morris on February 5. The July 1989 blockbuster trade that sent 1988 AL Cy Young Award winner Frank Viola to the New York Mets in exchange for relief pitchers Rick Aguilera and David West and starter Kevin Tapani proved to be pivotal to the 1991 season. There were only seven players still on the roster from the 1987 World Championship team, none of them pitchers: Randy Bush, Greg Gagne, Dan Gladden, Kent Hrbek, Gene Larkin, Al Newman, and future Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett. Into this framework, young stars were blended successfully, including Scott Leius to platoon with Pagliarulo at third, Shane Mack in right field, Scott Erickson, a 20-game winner with a 12-game winning streak, and A.L. Rookie of the Year second baseman Chuck Knoblauch.
2,293,842 fans attended Twins games, the eighth highest total in the American League.1992 Boston Red Sox season
The 1992 Boston Red Sox season was the 92nd season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished last in the seven-team American League East with a record of 73 wins and 89 losses, 23 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays. It was the last time the Red Sox finished last in their division until 2012. The Red Sox hit seven grand slams, the most in MLB in 1992.1995 Cincinnati Reds season
The Cincinnati Reds' 1995 season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Reds winning the National League Central, and the National League Division Series in three straight games over the Los Angeles Dodgers before losing the National League Championship Series in four games to the eventual World Series champion Atlanta Braves.David West (baseball)
David Lee West (born September 1, 1964), is a retired professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1988–1998. He also played one season in Japan for the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks in 1997.
After graduating from Memphis' Craigmont High School in 1983, West was drafted by the New York Mets in the fourth round of the 1983 amateur draft and signed with the team on June 8, 1983. On July 31, 1989, West was traded by the New York Mets with a player to be named later, Rick Aguilera, Tim Drummond, and Kevin Tapani to the Minnesota Twins for Frank Viola. The Mets sent Jack Savage (October 16, 1989) to the Twins to complete the trade.
For the postseason of 1991, he had a time of ups and downs. In the 1991 American League Championship Series, he appeared in two games against the Toronto Blue Jays, pitching 5.2 innings while allowing just one hit and no runs. In the World Series that year, he appeared in two games, but he recorded no outs, allowing two hits, four runs, four walks in six total batters, having a ERA of infinity.
He also pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1993 World Series.Frank Viola (author)
Frank Viola is an American author, speaker, and blogger on Christian topics. His work focuses on Jesus studies and biblical narrative, with a strong emphasis on helping the poor and the oppressed. He is most noted for his emphasis on the gospel of the kingdom, the centrality and supremacy of Jesus Christ,
and the idea that Jesus indwells all Christians and they can learn to live by his life.Viola's early work was focused on organic church and missional church themes. His older books advocated church life based on the spiritual principles of the New Testament, the headship of Christ, face-to-face community, and the priesthood of all believers.Since 2009, Viola's work has been focused on Jesus studies, living by the indwelling life of Christ, God's eternal purpose, the present-day ministry of Christ, and biblical narrative.
Viola has authored over 20 books, over 900 blog articles, and over 100 podcast episodes. His podcast, Christ is All, has been ranked #1 in Canada and #2 in the USA (respectively) in the "Christianity" section of iTunes.His blog, Beyond Evangelical, is regularly ranked in the top 10 of Christian blogs on the Web.Viola and professor Leonard Sweet have written three books together, each focusing on Christology: Jesus Speaks, Jesus: A Theography and Jesus Manifesto.Since 2012, Viola has been strongly focused on helping the poor and the oppressed. Concerning the poor, Viola has said that helping those who are in need is part of "the Magna Carta of the Church of Jesus Christ as she continues the ministry of Jesus on earth (Luke 4:18–19). Scripture, both Old Testament and New Testament, make clear that this is very much on God's heart."Aside from being an author and speaker on Christian topics, Viola consults authors, bloggers, and writers in their craft. He lectures throughout the USA and around the world, having spoken in various locations including Canada, Ireland, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, Germany, Switzerland, and Holland.Frank Viola III
Frank John Viola III (born June 19, 1984) is an American professional baseball pitcher who is retired. He played for the Chicago White Sox Organization twice (2003-2008, 2015) and also played for the Independent League St. Paul Saints (2010), and in the Toronto Blue Jays organization (2014). Viola is the son of major league pitcher and 1988 Cy Young Award winner Frank Viola and the brother of 2008 and 2011 NCAA Champion platform diver and 2012 Olympian, Brittany Viola.High Point Rockers
The High Point Rockers are an American professional baseball team based at BB&T Point ballpark in High Point, North Carolina and playing in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, an independent baseball league.List of Minnesota Twins Opening Day starting pitchers
The Minnesota Twins are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the American League Central division. They formerly played in Washington, D.C. as the Washington Senators before moving to Minnesota after the 1960 season. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Twins have used 26 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 51 seasons in Minnesota. Starters have a combined Opening Day record of 14 wins, 25 losses and 12 no decisions. No decisions are only awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game.Brad Radke holds the Minnesota Twins record for most Opening Day starts with nine. He has a record in Opening Day starts for the Twins of four wins and two losses (4–2) with three no decisions. Bert Blyleven had six Opening Day starts for the Twins and Frank Viola had four. Radke has the record for most wins in Minnesota Twins Opening Day starts with four. Liván Hernández, Mudcat Grant, and Dean Chance share the best winning percentage in Opening Day starts with one win and no losses (1–0) each. Kevin Tapani has the worst winning percentage, losing both Opening Day starts he made for the Twins (0–2).Overall, Minnesota Twins Opening Day starting pitchers have a record of 4–7 with three no decisions at Metropolitan Stadium and a 1–4 record with one no decision at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Their first home opener in their current ballpark of Target Field was in 2013. This gives their Opening Day starting pitchers' combined home record 5–11 with four no no decisions. Their away record is 9–14 with eight no decisions. The Twins went on to play in the World Series in 1965, 1987, and 1991, winning in 1987 and 1991. The Twins lost both Opening Day games in the years in which they won the World Series.Peninsula Oilers
The Peninsula Oilers are a college summer baseball club in the Alaska Baseball League. The Oilers are based in Kenai, Alaska, and their name refers to the Kenai Peninsula region. The team was founded in 1974 and play their home games in the 1,300-seat Coral Seymour Memorial Ballpark.
Several successful Major League Baseball players have played for the Oilers, including Cy Young Award winner Frank Viola and six-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner J.T. Snow, and several first-round picks including J. D. Drew.Yale Field
Yale Field is a stadium in West Haven, Connecticut, just across the city line with New Haven, Connecticut. It is primarily used for the Yale University baseball team, the Bulldogs, and, until 2007 was also the home field of the New Haven County Cutters Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball minor league baseball team. Yale's baseball team has played continuously at the same site since 1885 while the field was constructed and opened in April 1928. It holds 5,000 people.
During President Bush's days baseball playing for Yale, the team played in both the 1947 and 1948 College World Series, losing to the University of California in 1947 and to USC in 1948. Yale's manager during this time was former big leaguer Ethan Allen. Yale Field hosted what is believed to be the first game of the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship in 1947 when Yale hosted Clemson.Yale Field was the site for one of the most famous college baseball games of all time. On May 21, 1981, during a qualifying game for the College World Series, Ron Darling from Yale and Frank Viola from St. Johns dueled through 11 scoreless innings before St. Johns broke through with a run in the 12th inning to win 1-0. Both pitchers went on to have distinguished Major League careers. Darling pitched 11 innings of no-hit ball (still a college playoff record) before surrendering a single in the 12th inning.
In attendance at the game was Yale President and soon-to-be Commissioner of Baseball, A. Bartlett Giamatti as well as pitching great and ex-Yale Baseball Coach, Smoky Joe Wood. Renowned baseball author Roger Angell was also at the game and wrote an article about the game for the New Yorker Magazine, entitled "The Web of the Game" (See New Yorker, July 20, 1981, p.97)
Ron Darling devoted an entire chapter to this game in his 2009 book; "The Complete Game, Reflections on Baseball, Pitching, and Life on the Mound", published by Alfred A. Knoff, a division of Random House.
Another legendary game took place at Yale Field in 1941. With Smoky Joe Wood as manager, and Joe Jr. on the mound, the Elis faced Colgate whose roster included two of Smoky Joe's other sons, Steve and Bob Wood. Yale prevailed 11-5.
Yale Field was also the name of the football stadium prior to the Yale Bowl opening in 1914.
|Culture and lore|
|Division titles (10)|
|Wild Card titles (1)|
|Minor league affiliates|
1981 College Baseball All-America Team selections
Members of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame