In this episode of the Italian American Podcast, we talk to former Mets pitcher John Franco about his childhood years and the sacrifices that his parents made for him which contributed to his success in his career. John also discusses his involvement in the Italian American Baseball Foundation.
- “My father taught me how to respect the game and respect the people who played the game.” – John Franco
- “My brother would let me win all the way up to the end and then he would beat me, and that made me more competitive.” – John Franco
- “Somewhere along the lines all Italian Americans are related.” – John Franco
- “When you are with a fellow Italian player, you almost have the same type of upbringing no matter what part of the country you’re in.” – John Franco
- “I find that Italian Americans really recognize what their parents and grandparents sacrificed for them.” – Dolores Alfieri Taranto
- “If it wasn’t for our parents and grandparents who paved the way for us and gave us the opportunities to do what we do, who knows where we might have wound up.” – John Franco
- “The impression that was left on you as a child and the values that you built, helps you to carry the traditions on.” – Anthony Fasano
- “Off the field, I think it’s very important for players to get involved in their community and charities, and to show that you don’t turn your back on people who are less fortunate than you are.” – John Franco
About our Guest
John Anthony Franco (born September 17, 1960) is a former Major League Baseball left-handed relief pitcher. During a 22-year baseball career spanning 1984–2005, he pitched for three different National League teams, the Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, and Houston Astros. His 1,119 career games pitched is a National League record and ranks fourth in major league history. His 424 career saves rank fifth all-time in major league history (ranking second when he retired), and remains the most by a left-hander. For 15 of his 22 seasons, he played for the New York Mets, serving as team captain in his final years with the team.
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