Monday, June 8, 2009

Mets Mustache Greats #9: Frank Viola

Years with Mets: 1989-91

I was pretty excited when the Mets acquired Frank Viola from the Twins in 1989. He had won the AL Cy Young the previous year, he was a local boy (not sure why that really matters, but it sounds good), and of course...the mustache.

It's not like I was obsessed with mustaches in the late 80s or anything. I mean, every boy has an autographed 8x10 of Gene Shalit on their dresser, right? It's just that in my young mind it was a trait I associated with baseball success. The 86 Mets boasted numerous mustaches. Result? World Series champions. My Benson Little League under-12 Goodrich Dairy Orioles? Zero mustaches. Zero success.

Anyway...what was I talking about? Oh yeah, Frank Viola. The point of my story was that I knew that the arrival of Frankie (people call him Frankie, right?) and his 24-win mustache would bring an unparalleled level of success to the early 90s Mets. Well, I was right about Frankie, at least. Viola went 20-12 with a 2.67 ERA in 1990 and finished 3rd in NL Cy Young voting (which he should have won). Not too shabby.

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