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Herman Louis Franks Sr.

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Herman Louis Franks, Sr. "Nino" Herman Louis Franks, Sr. passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on March 30, 2009 at his home in Salt Lake City, Utah at the age of 95. He was born on January 4, 1914 in Price, Utah to Italian immigrant parents, Edith Dozzi and Celeste Franks. He is survived by Ami, his wife of 60 years; his three children, Dan (Michele), Herman (Lauri), and Cyndy Wright (Michael), along with seven grandchildren: Rachel, Danny, Michael, Janie, David, Lauren, and Aaron. Herm was raised in Salt Lake City attending East High School where he was an outstanding athlete lettering in baseball, basketball, football, and track. After a year at the University of Utah, he broke into professional baseball as a catcher with the Hollywood Stars in 1932. Eventually he was acquired by the St. Louis Cardinals where he joined the major league club in 1939. Herm went on to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1940-41 where he started a long-term association with Leo Durocher. He served as a lieutenant in the Navy during World War II for three and a half years. He played for Montreal in the International League during 1946 and in 1947 became a player-manager for the St. Paul Saints, the Dodgers' triple A team in the American Association. Late in the 1947 season he returned to play in the majors with the Philadelphia Athletics where Herm met and married Ami in 1948. He went on to coach the New York Giants under Durocher from 1949 through 1955 during which the Giants won the National League Championship in 1951 and 1954 and the World Series in 1954. He retired from baseball after the 1955 season to Salt Lake City and was involved in several business activities including being general manager of the Salt Lake City Bees of the Pacific Coast League. In 1965 Herm was named manager of the San Francisco Giants where he remained for four years achieving the best overall record in the Major Leagues for that period. Again he returned to business interests off the field, but was drawn back to baseball in 1977 to manage the Chicago Cubs for three years. He was also the Cubs general manager for the year 1981 before finally retiring from baseball. Herm is a member of the Utah Sports Hall of Fame, The Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Fame, and the East High School Hall of Fame. Along the way he enjoyed hunting with his dogs, fishing, golf and racquetball. He was an avid and skilled card player enjoying many afternoons of gin rummy with his friends at the Ambassador Club and later at the Sabre Club. Herm lived his life with honesty and integrity. He was a generous and loyal husband, father, grandfather, and friend and loved his family above all else. Dad we want you to know your strength and example will always be a part of us. The Franks family would like to thank the members of hospice and his devoted grandson, David, who helped care for him in the last months of his life. The funeral mass will be celebrated on Friday the 3rd of April at 11:00 a.m. at St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 1975 South 2300 East. Friends may call from 10:15 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. prior to the service. Funeral Director's Neil O'Donnell & Sons. In lieu of flowers the family suggests a donation to the Catholic Community Services or a charity of your choice.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune from Apr. 1 to Apr. 2, 2009
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