Frank Conrad Baumholtz
- Philadelphia Phillies 1956 - 1957
Frank Conrad Baumholtz was born in Midvale in Ohio. He was an American outfielder whose former teams include Cincinnati Reds from 1947-1949, the Chicago Cubs in 1949 and from 1951 to 1955 and lastly the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1956 – 1957 season. He studied in Midvale high school and graduated from the Ohio University. Standing 5’10 and weighing 175 lbs, Frank was the first athlete to play both professional basketball and baseball.
In April 1947, he was drafted by the Providence Steam Rollers team from the Cleveland Rebels team in the dispersion draft. Frankie played professional basketball at the age of 28 for 45 games. During the season of 1946-47, he scored 54 assists and 631 points.
During the 1945-46 seasons he played with Youngstown team in the NPBC – the National Professional Basketball Conference. The next year, he played for the Cleveland Rebels team of the BAA – Basketball Association of America, a league which was a forerunner to the NBA.
Frank was known as a star athlete at the Ohio University in late 1930s, during which he also served for four years in the Navy during World War II. Baumholtz was even signed by the Cincinnati Reds team as an amateur free agent in 1941. This rookie outfielder hit .238 in 1946, when he played for the Cincinnati Reds. Later on, the following season, he hit .296, but was slumped after he got traded to the Chicago Cubs, where he finished second in the 1952 batting race, gaining a .325 average.
Baumholtz was in professional baseball too from 1941 till 1957. However, his final game was in May 1957. This way, his professional playing days ended in 1957 where he made his lifetime mark with .290 points.
Frankie was a vice president for the Marquardt Brothers Food Company, before he expired at the age of 79 in December 14, 1997.
This only batter to face Musial, the pitcher, reached first base on an infield error. He got traded to the Philadelphia Phillies and led the National League in 1955 and 1956 with pinch hits. Amongst other players with right to pinch hitter, Frank was the only left hand batter to gain more than .300 average in the role.
He finished in the fifth position through voting for the 1947 National League Rookie of the year where he played in 151 games and scored 643 at bats, 32 doubles, 5 home runs and 56 walks. He finished 17th position for the 1952 National League MVP for playing in 103 games and scoring 409 at bats, 133 hits and 27 walks.