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Utah baseball legend passes away

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Former Major League Baseball player and manager Herman Franks has died. He was 95.

Franks died Monday of congestive heart failure at his home in Salt Lake City, said Cyndy Wright, his daughter.

The San Francisco Giants issued a statement Tuesday night, calling Franks a "true Giant" for his role in the team's history. He only played one game for the club in 1949, but went on to coach under manager Leo Durocher.

Franks managed the Giants from 1965-68, a run of four straight second-place finishes. His former players included future Hall of Famers in Orlando Cepeda, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal and Gaylord Perry.

"When you mention his name, you immediately think of the Giants. He was a true Giant and was a part of our rich history in the 1950s and especially in the 1960s," Giants owner Bill Neukom said in a statement. "He will be deeply missed and we will always remember what he did for baseball."

Franks was a catcher for the Cardinals, Dodgers, Athletics and Giants over six seasons, which were interrupted by World War II. He played in 188 games, hitting 199 with three home runs and 43 RBS.

"I wasn't a good hitter. I was good at handling pitchers," Franks recently told the Salt Lake Tribune, which reported his death Tuesday. "But I always loved the game and wanted to stay in it as a coach or manager."

Franks was 605-521 as a manager, going 367-280 with the Giants and 238-241 with the Cubs from 1977-79.

He is survived by his wife, Amneris, and three children: Dan, Herman Jr. and Cyndy Wright.

Funeral arrangements were pending.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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