Ex-Yankee Frank 'Spec' Shea Dies
.c The Associated Press
07/20/02 15:48 EDT
NEW YORK (AP) - Frank ``Spec'' Shea, who won two games in the 1947 World Series as a New York Yankees rookie and coached Robert Redford for the movie ``The Natural,'' has died. He was 81.
Shea died Friday in New Haven, Conn., four weeks after having valve replacement surgery, the Yankees said.
Shea was 56-46 with a 3.80 ERA for the Yankees and Washington Senators in a career that spanned 1947-55. Later on, he taught Redford how to throw in an old-time style for ``The Natural.''
Also known as ``The Naugatuck Nugget'' for his hometown in Connecticut, Shea made an immediate impact in the majors.
Shea joined a Yankees team that included Joe DiMaggio, Phil Rizzuto and ace Allie Reynolds in 1947 and went 14-5 with a 3.07 ERA. He also was the winning pitcher for the American League in the All-Star game.
Shea started Game 1 of the World Series and beat Brooklyn 5-3 at Yankee Stadium. Then, two days after his 27th birthday, he pitched a four-hitter and defeated the Dodgers 2-1 at Ebbets Field in Game 5.
The right-hander also started Game 7, but was pulled in the second inning as Brooklyn took a 2-0 lead. The Yankees rallied for a 5-2 victory and the championship.
Shea pitched for the Yankees from 1947-49 and in 1951. He finished with four years for the Senators.