Frantic Frank Lane
Baseball's Ultimate Wheeler-Dealer
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The book follows the colorful career of Frank Lane, who as baseball's busiest general manager during the 1950s made the deals that turned the Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Cardinals and Cleveland Indians from losers into pennant contenders almost overnight. He also worked--or tried to--as general manager of the Kansas City A's (Lane lasted eight months in 1961 under first-year owner Charlie Finley) and for the Milwaukee Brewers, where his boss was Bud Selig. He is best known for having traded 1959 American League home run champion Rocky Colavito to Detroit for the AL's 1959 batting champ, Harvey Kuenn, and for trading Indians manager Joe Gordon to Detroit for Tigers manager Jimmy Dykes. During his brief absence from baseball (1962-1964), he signed on as general manager of the National Basketball Association's second-year expansion team, the Chicago Zephyrs. He became a "superscout" for the Baltimore Orioles for several years and, after leaving Milwaukee, had the same job with the Texas Rangers and, finally, the California Angels. He completed well over 500 major- and minor-league transactions in his career. Joe Garagiola put it best: "They used to say that the toughest job on any club Frank Lane was running belonged to the guy who had to take the team picture."
- McFarland, January 2013
McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers
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