Frank Lary, who got the nickname “the Yankee Killer” because he went 27-10 against the great Yankees teams from 1955-1961, has passed away at the age of 87.
Lary pitched for the Tigers 1954-1964, Mets 1964, Braves 1964, Mets again 1965 and White Sox 1965.
He led the AL in wins with 21 in 1956, and won 23 in 1961 for a Tigers team that won 101 games but finished second, eight games behind the Yankees. He finished 3rd in the CYA voting in 1961—when there was just one award and it wasn’t split into AL and NL winners—behind Hall of Famers Whitey Ford (who won) and Warren Spahn.
In that 1961 season, he not only finished third for the CYA, but was 7th in MVP, was an All-Star and won the Gold Glove.
He was a 3x All Star who got MVP consideration 3x and that CYA consideration once.
He led the league in games started 2x, complete games 3x, innings pitched 3x.
From 1955-1961, he averaged 17-13, 3.34 and an ERA+ of 121. He also averaged 257 IP per season.
After that 1961 season, when he went 23-9, 3.24 and led the majors in complete games with 22, Lary’s career fizzled out.
He was just 31.
From 1962-1965, he went just 11-23, 4.26, ERA+ 87.
For his career, Lary was 128-116, 3.49, ERA+ 114. His average 162 g. season was 14-12, 3.49.
As a hitter, he hit .177 with 6 HR.