The Red Sox confirmed Malzone's death on their Twitter feed.
“We mourn the loss of a man we all came to know as ‘Malzie,’ who was venerated by Red Sox fans not only for his great glove at third base but for his blue-collar dedication to his craft,” said Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, per the Boston Globe.
Malzone played for Boston from 1955-1965 and was an instant contributor after becoming a full-time member of the big league roster in 1957. He made the All-Star team and was second in Rookie of the Year voting his first full campaign, marking his first of four straight appearances in the Midsummer Classic.
A solid two-way player, Malzone also won Gold Gloves in each of his first three years. He enjoyed his best offensive season in 1962, hitting 21 home runs and driving in 95 runs. Because Malzone was a bit of a late bloomer—he was 27 during his rookie season—his reign near the top of the sport did not last long.
After returning to All-Star form in 1963 and 1964, Malzone's performance quickly dipped in his final two MLB seasons. He left the Red Sox in 1966 for a stint with the California Angels, playing only 82 games before retiring after the season.
Overall, Malzone finished with 133 home runs, 728 RBI and a .274/.315/.399 slash line. He returned to the Red Sox organization following his playing career, serving as a scout and working in player development for decades.
“Early on in my minor league career, Frank Malzone and Eddie Popowski would tirelessly work with me on becoming a better third baseman,” former Red Sox third baseman Wade Boggs told the Globe. “Not only Johnny Pesky but Frank Malzone was instrumental in my development as a third baseman. Thoughts and prayers go out to the Malzone family at this time.”
Malzone had worked for the Red Sox as a player-development consultant since 2008.
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