Frank Ignatz Blank
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 165 lb.
- Debut August 15, 1909
- Final Game August 15, 1909
- Born October 18, 1892 in St. Louis, MO USA
- Died December 8, 1961 in St. Louis, MO USA
Born in St. Louis, where he would also die, Frank Ignatz "Coonie" Blank appeared in only one season, with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1909, at the age of 16. At the time, he was the youngest player ever to debut in the modern National League and would remain so until 1944. He was the youngest major league catcher of the 20th century. A catcher in his only game, the two regular catchers on the team, Ed Phelps and Roger Bresnahan, were both 30 years old. He is the only major leaguer (through 2019) remembered with the first name Coonie.
Although he was only 16 when he played in the majors, he had already played minor league ball at age 15 the previous year.
The SABR article referenced below suggests that his name was more probably "Connie" than "Coonie", although it doesn't say why.
- Chuck Hildebrandt: "Sweet! 16-Year-Old Players in Major League History", Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Vol. 48, Nr. 1, Spring 2019, pp. 5-17.
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