Frank Viola became the first Italian American pitcher to win the coveted Cy Young Award in 1988. Known for his nearly unhittable changeup, Viola went 24-7 that year with an ERA of 2.64. In 1987 he led the Minnesota Twins to their first-ever World Series Championship. Viola earned World Series MVP honors that year, and clinched the title with a dramatic 4-2 victory in game 7 over the St. Louis Cardinals while pitching on 3 days rest. During the years 1984-88, Viola’s 93 victories were more than any other Major League pitcher.
Born April 19, 1960 in Hempstead, NY, Viola made his major league debut for the Twins on June 6, 1982. He later pitched for the Mets, Red Sox, Reds and Blue Jays, compiling a career record of 176-150 with a 3.73 ERA.
Frank Viola was inducted to the National Italian American Sport Hall of Fame in 2004.