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Paradice found -- on the green

April 27, 2002

Alex Leon

BURBANK -- Every day is a good day to be living in Hawaii for Frank

Sullivan.

For 38 years since he decided he would be better off living on an

island than on the mainland, the 72-year-old wakes up in paradise every

day.

But ask the 1948 Burbank High graduate and he will say that he has had

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the best of both worlds. Before he pitched for 10 years in the major

leagues from 1953 to 1963, Sullivan said the small Burbank town where he

was raised was a fantastic place to grow up.

"I was back in Burbank a few years ago and I drove by the house that

we lived in on Fairmont Street and it looked as good now as it did when

my family lived there, right near the high school," Sullivan said. "There

was no smog in those days and me and my friends used to drive a Model A

to Laguna Beach right through Downtown Los Angeles, and it would take

just 45 minutes."

Sullivan should have good memories of Burbank High, where was the

student body president in 1948. The same year, the 6-foot-6 center for

the Bulldogs boys' basketball team was offered a scholarship to Stanford

University.

But Sullivan was a standout in baseball as well, and instead of taking

his chances in Palo Alto, he signed a professional baseball contract with

the Boston Red Sox.

He finally landed in the majors in 1953, and pitched with Boston until

1960. He was talented enough to be considered among the best

right-handers in the American League. He was named to the all-star team

in 1955 and 1956, and led the American League in 1955 with 18 wins and

260 innings pitched. "I had a good, live arm and I was always ready

to go when my turn came up in the rotation. Boston was a good baseball

town and I feel proud to have pitched the majority of my career there,"

he said. "But playing pro baseball in those days was not everything that

people thought it was. We had to supply a lot of our own equipment and

pay for a lot our own living expenses.

"For example, in 1953 and 1954 I made $6,000 with the Red Sox, but

paid out $9,500 to play and live. To make ends meet, I had to either work

as a grip in the motion picture industry or play winter ball in Mexico,

if there was an opportunity.

"The funny thing was that on a few occasions, I made more in the

winter than I did with the Red Sox."

*

Everyone loves a parade. The year was 1954 and the parade route along

San Fernando Road was jammed with local residents and students from

Burbank wanting to see Sullivan. He was being honored after going 15-12

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