Twins Ambassador Frank Quilici Passes Away At 79
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Frank Quilici, Harmon Killebrew, Kent Hrbek)Frank Quilici passed away on Monday at the age of 79, but he has represented the Minnesota Twins for nearly 60 years.
The Twins originally signed Frank Quilici as an amateur player before the 1961 season. He toiled in the Twins minor league system until making his major-league debut in 1965. He spent time with the Twins that season and then again from 1967 through 1970. To me, it was interesting that he played in all seven games of the 1965 World Series and then spent the entire 1966 season in Triple-A.
His playing career was nothing to write home about. In 405 career games, he hit just .214/.281/.287 (.569) with 23 doubles, six triples and five home runs. He was a utility infielder, capable of playing all three spots pretty well.
But even while playing, it was clear that coaching would be a part of his future. 1970 was his final season as a Twins player, and he was added to the Twins coaching staff for the 1971 and 1972 seasons. Late in the 1972 season, he took over as manager for the final 84 games. He was just 33 years old.
He managed the team through the 1975 season. Over that time, he compiled a record of 280-287. The Twins finished just above .500 in the 1973 and 1974 seasons.
Despite being let go, he was part of the WCCO radio team with legendary Herb Carneal during the 1976 and 1977 seasons, and again from 1980-1982. Dick Bremer pointed out on the Monday night telecast that they were partners on TV for some time.
And since then, Quilici has remained very active in the community. He has been a member of the board of directors of the Twins Community Fund, and he was the President of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation for some time. In 2013, he was honored with the Kirby Puckett Award for Alumni Community Service.
There are other names that come to mind when people think of the Minnesota Twins, but few have served the organization in more ways or for more time than Frank Quilici.
I am guessing that there are several of our Twins Daily readers who remember Quilici's playing days, or at least his managerial days. More likely, I'm guessing that several of you have had the opportunity to meet or shake hands with Quilici at some point in time at a Twins-related event. Please feel free to share your thoughts and stories regarding Frank Quilici.
Best wishes to the family of Frank Quilici as well as those in the Twins organization who knew him well.