R.I.P. Frank Pastore

Former Reds pitcher and Christian radio host Frank Pastore, 55, died Monday, from injuries sustained in a November motorcycle accident — an accident that Pastore anticipated on-air just three hours before his death.

According to thechristianpost.com, Pastore was on his way to his southern California home after the November 19 broadcast of “The Frank Pastore Show,” his three-hour daily talk-radio program, when his motorcycle was sideswiped by a car that swerved into the carpool lane of the 210 Freeway.

Earlier that day, Pastore had addressed just that very possibility:

In a discussion about life after death, Pastore said, “I mean look, you guys know I ride a motorcycle don’t you? … So, at any minute… I could be spread out all over the 210 (Freeway), but that’s not me, that’s my body parts.”

Pastore even complained about cars entering the carpool (“diamond”) lane.  Here’s the full clip:  Pastore’s Last Show
Pastore pitched eight seasons in the majors, seven of them with the Reds.  Overall, he had a 48-58 record and a 4.29 ERA.  His best season was 1980, when he went 13-7 with a 3.29 ERA.  A second-round pick in 1975, Pastore started Game 2 of the 1979 NLCS, throwing 7 innings of 2-run ball, before the Reds lost in extra innings.
Pastore wrote a book, Shattered, where he describes how a Steve Sax line drive destroyed Pastore’s elbow, and effectively ending his career, but leading him to Christianity, though the help of longtime Reds reliever and clubhouse chapel leader Tom Hume.  Pastore also told the story in a  chapter of a different 1998 book:
Deep in my heart, I knew my life would never be the same.  I had always derived my sense of security and self-esteem from my athletic performance.  Baseball had been my god and my source of identity.  For twenty years my identity was in being a baseball player, not in playing baseball.  I had confused what I did with who I was, like many others.  I was no longer going to be a baseball player.  I had lost my identity; I was a nobody.  That frightening reality crashed down upon me in thunderous waves of terror.
As unlikely as it may seem, it was in the midst of all this that I was introduced to the concept that God was real.  As I walked into the training room, my small but faithful group of friends – the Christians – asked me whether I would mind if they prayed for me.  “Of course you can pray!”  I said.  “You can do anything you want if you think it’ll help.”  How cute, I thought, the religious fanatics want to pray for me.  Isn’t that just like uneducated people to turn to a mythical god in a crisis situation?
Redleg Nation extends our condolences to Gina Pastore and the entire Pastore, KKLA, and MLB families.

Join the conversation! 6 Comments

  1. My favorite Pastore fact: in 1987 he ate the 72 ounce steak at the Big Texan restaurant in less than 10 minutes and held the record for 21 years.


  2. As a self-described “Right-wing Radical Nut”, I enjoyed reading Pastore’s column at TownHall.com. I can’;t remember the content of one particular article but I wrote him and told him how much I enjoyed it and enjoyed watching him when he was a Redleg. His wife sent a response to me the very next day and it was evident what a down to earth soul that lady was (is). She said that Frank would prefer to answer his own mail but was busy at the time. I didn’t realize he had a radio show. From that one small interaction, I would venture to guess that is one heck of a great family.

    Godspeed, Mr. Frank Pastore and thanks for the memories.

  3. I remember Frank as having probably the first fastball that impressed me. Even though Nolan Ryan was still pitching at the time, not that Frank’s was overpowering or anything, just that it impressed me for some reason. Also, I believe he was the one I first remember hearing announcers call something like “a bubblegum curveball” or “a lollipop curveball”. From the look we get during the games on TV, it looked like a big ol’ arching type pitch.

    I never knew him as a person. But, he was probably the first Reds pitcher I was impressed with, for some reason. I still have those memories. RIP.

  4. I was born in 1970 and rooting for that 1979 team is among my earliest Reds memories. Even though we got swept, it was a very competitive three games, and Pastore pitched as well as we could have asked.

    A damn shame. RIP.

  5. I remember Pastore well as a Reds pitcher. As a very young pitcher in 1979 and 1980, he looked like he could develop into a number 2 starter. Very smooth delivery that looked a lot like Tom Seaver’s, who of course was with the Reds at the time. Not overpowering but good stuff and could spot his pitches.

    He would often “carve hitters” up, outsmarting them and pitching on the corners. I think starting in 1981 he may have gotten too carried away with this approach, as starting that year his walks began to climb.
    He did have good peripherals in 1981, but would make a bad pitch at a bad time.

    In his life after baseball, of course, he became important to a lot of people. RIP, Frank.

  6. @steveschoen: Interesting comments. I was very impressed watching Pastore pitch. Very polished, excellent mechanics and a lot of poise even as a rookie – always seemed calm and in control. In 1980 and 1981 I thought he’d develop into a star pitcher.

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