Former Detroit Tiger Frank Bolling dies
By: Mike Stiles - Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Frank Bolling (photo courtesy of Detroit Free Press)

(MOBILE, AL) – Ex-Detroit Tiger Frank Bolling, a two-time All-Star second baseman and the last player to hit a grand slam off Sandy Koufax, has died. He was 88. Bolling died Saturday. He was diagnosed with cancer about five years ago, according to a notice posted by the funeral home handling the arrangements. Bolling played 12 seasons in the majors, six with Detroit and six with the Braves, and hit .254 with 106 home runs. His Gold Glove award in 1958 was the first by a Tigers infielder. For part of that season, his double-play partner was his older brother, shortstop Milt Bolling. Frank Bolling finished his time with the Tigers with a .261 batting average and 64 home runs in 785 games from 1954-60. He homered in his first big league game, tagging Baltimore’s Don Larsen on opening day at Tiger Stadium in 1954 for his first career hit. Bolling missed the 1955 season while serving in the U.S. Army, and returned to the majors the next year. Bolling, along with Neil Chisley, was traded to the Milwaukee Braves after the 1960 season in a deal for outfielder Bill Bruton and three other players and became an All-Star in 1961 and 1962. In those days, there were two All-Star Games each season, and he started both the first year and twice was a substitute the next season. In 1965, Bolling hit the sixth and final grand slam that Koufax allowed in his Hall of Fame career, connecting at County Stadium in Milwaukee. In 1966, Bolling was in the starting lineup for the first major league game played in Atlanta. The road leading to Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile is Bolling Brothers Boulevard. Bolling and Aaron were longtime teammates. Years after he retired, Bolling kept playing. Boosted by a grant from Major League Baseball and working with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, he created a league for physically and mentally challenged kids in Mobile.


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