Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Unpossible Autographs-Frank Zupo

Frank "Noodles" Zupo 1957-58, 61 (died 2005)

The man with the best, bushiest eyebrows in Orioles history played in only 16 games for the Birds over the course of three seasons. While he didn't do much of note at the plate or behind it , he managed to form the only "Z" battery in MLB history, along with George Zuverink, in his catching debut. That's kinda cool. He was also the third youngest player in the Majors over the '57 & '58 seasons.

I couldn't find out how he got his nickname "Noodles" either. So I like to think he got it for having a very weak arm, or liking to eat spaghetti.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can't be sure, but it might have been pronounced Noodle Soup-o...

Was here tonight because in a baseball radio broadcast available at archive.org, Vin Scully tells about how Zupo had been ejected from a game before it began. Game is labeled "Baseball - 570728 - Dodgers vs Reds" and it's at about the one-hour point.

Ryan said...

Anon- You're probably right, that makes sense. Thanks!

Jessica Savino said...

Frank Zupo was my grandfather. They called him Noodles because they thought his name was pronounced "Soupo."

Anonymous said...

Zupo was being interviewed and was asked what he planned to do in the off-season. He told the interviewer that he would helping his father. The interviewer said that was nice and asked what Frank's father did. Zupo's reply was classic, "Nothing, he's retired." RIP Frank

Mark Burton said...

Frank and my father worked at Stanford as the "Red Shirts" for sporting events. I never heard of Frank until my dad told me he played for the Orioles. I found some of his cards online, and brought them to a basketball game for him to sign. What a moment. He was sort of upset that the cards only cost me two dollars.

I gave him a couple of cards, and one week later, he gave me an auto graph baseball from Brooks Robinson. I went to Frank's funeral when he passed. What a great guy.

Orioles Magic said...

Jessica-
It sounds like your grandfather was quite a guy, thanks for the background on his nickname!

Mark-
That's a great story. Sounds like Frank was a great guy!!

Anonymous said...

As a young teenager in 1958 I acquired a Frank Zupo baseball card, part of the Topps set for that year. I was new to major league baseball, having become interested in the sport because the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles (my home) that year (sorry Brooklyn). In 1959 I attended a minor league game in Stockton, Californiak, and there was... Frank Zupo! I didn't quite realize at the time that players went back and forth from the majors to the minors, and Stockton was pretty deep in the minors. So Frank Zupo was the only player that night that I knew, because I had his baseball card. More than half a century later, I still remember that game because of Frank Zupo. And that's my Frank Zupo story.

Tom DuBois said...

I was 10 years old in 1958 and collected baseball cards. When I got a Frank Zupo card in my Topps pack I was taken by a) his age b) his eyebrows and c) his .083 BA. I lost all my cards in a fire but years later my brother found a Zupo card in a sports store. I still have that card in original plastic as a fond memory of my brother and my youth. Thx "Noodles". Tom DuBois

Orioles Magic said...

Anonymous- Thanks for sharing a great story. Very cool to hear from other baseball fans and their memories and experiences.