One of the heartwarming stories of the Yanks’ 1996 World Series run was the succesful heart transplant surgery of manager Joe Torre’s older brother Frank, himself a member of the baseball fraternity. Frank was signed by the Boston Braves back in 1951, when his native Brooklyn was still one of the great talent feeders of the game. By the time he made the majors, in 1956, the Braves had moved to Milwaukee. Torre was a big, rangey first baseman, but a career backup. His best year was 1957, when he went .309/.386/.444. His career tailed off after that, and he was soon eclipsed by brother Joe, who had become the prize of the Braves farm system. (As you can see from the card above—a 1958 Topps—there’s a pretty striking family resemblence.) The brothers played together for one year, 1960. Frank’s greatest moments came before that, though; in the 1957 World Series, against the Yankees, he homered twice in 10 at bats, as the Braves won 4-3. That team, carried by Hank Aaron’s bat and the pitching of Warren Spahn and Lew Burdette, returned for another Series appearance the next year, and the Yanks got their revenge.
Frank Torre is back in the hospital, this time for a kidney transplant. With a day off, Joe has returned to NY to be with family. We wish Frank and the whole Torre family well.