Longtime New York Mets lefty closer John Franco was the guest of honor Dec. 6 at the third annual Italian American Baseball Foundation dinner at Carmine & Sons, Williamsburg.
The Bensonhurst native began his baseball career at Most Precious Blood and Lafayette H.S., both Bath Beach. He then pitched at St. John’s University, Jamaica, before enjoying a 21-season professional career.
After breaking into the big leagues with the Cincinnati Reds, Franco spent 14 years with the Mets and eventually became team captain. The Mets Hall of Famer ranks fifth all-time with 424 saves – the most ever by a left-handed reliever.
The Italian American Baseball Foundation is a 501c(3) charity organization that brings awareness of the game to Italian youth through clinics, camps and education. The foundation also provides scholarships to Italian student-athletes who qualify to play college or high school baseball in the U.S.