Red Sox Hall of Famer Sullivan passes away

Two-time All-Star, subject of famed Norman Rockwell painting, was 85

January 20th, 2016
Frank Sullivan (right) is the player with the No. 8 on his back in the Norman Rockwell painting.

Former Red Sox pitcher Frank Sullivan, a two-time All-Star during an eventful 11-season playing career, passed away Tuesday at the age of 85. Sullivan, who led Boston in ERA for four straight seasons from 1954-57, was just four days shy of his 86th birthday.

Sullivan signed with the team as an amateur in 1948, and after serving in the Army during the Korean War, made his big league debut in '53. He pushed into the team's starting rotation in '54 and was credited with a team-high 15 wins.

A native of Hollywood, Calif., Sullivan was named to the All-Star team in 1955, when he notched an 18-13 record with a 2.91 ERA. He was an All-Star again in '56 and led the Major Leagues in WHIP (1.06) in '57, and the Red Sox traded him to Philadelphia after the '60 season.

Sullivan was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2008. In addition to his accomplishments on the field, Sullivan was also one of the Red Sox players immortalized in Norman Rockwell's famed 1957 painting "The Rookie."

The Red Sox tweeted their condolences: "We're sending our thoughts and prayers to the friends and family of Frank Sullivan."

Following his playing career, Sullivan lived in Hawaii for a half-century and served as a director of golf for a number of local courses. He wrote a book titled "Life is More Than 9 Innings: Memories of a Boston Red Sox Relief Pitcher," which was published in 2009, and last visited Fenway Park in '14.

Sullivan is survived by his wife Marilyn, his sons Mike and Mark, his daughter-in-law Leihina, his grandson Kapono and his granddaughters Kea, Summer and Lauren.