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2-time All-Star 2B Bolling dies, hit last slam off Koufax

MOBILE, Ala. — Frank Bolling, a two-time All-Star second baseman and the last player to hit a grand slam off Sandy Koufax, died Saturday. He was 88.

He was diagnosed with cancer about five years ago, according to a notice posted by the funeral home handling the arrangements.

Mr. Bolling played 12 seasons in the majors, six with Detroit and six with the Braves, and hit .254 with 106 home runs.

He homered in his first big league game, tagging Baltimore’s Don Larsen on opening day at Tiger Stadium in 1954 for his first career hit.

Mr. Bolling missed the 1955 season while serving in the Army and returned the majors the next year.


He won a Gold Glove in 1958 with the Tigers and for part of that season, his double-play partner was his older brother, shortstop Milt Bolling.

Frank Bolling was traded to the Milwaukee Braves after the 1960 season in a deal for outfielder Bill Bruton and became an All-Star in 1961 and 1962. In those days, there were two All-Star Games each season, and he started both of them the first year and twice was a substitute the next season.

In 1965, Mr. Bolling hit the sixth and final grand slam that Koufax allowed in his Hall of Fame career, connecting at County Stadium in Milwaukee.

In 1966, he was in the starting lineup for the first major league game played in Atlanta.

Years after he retired, Mr. Bolling kept playing. Boosted by a grant from Major League Baseball and working with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, he created a league for physically and mentally challenged kids in Mobile. The concept spread to other parts of Alabama.

“He would do anything for them,” his son Chris said. “There were children in wheelchairs, kids he would help run the bases. It was amazing to watch.”


The road leading to Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile — Aaron is from the city, and was Mr. Bolling’s longtime teammate — is Bolling Brothers Boulevard.