Frank Menechino

A Staten Island-raised son of a construction worker, the gritty Menechino was a late entry to professional ball, breaking in with the rookie league class of the Chicago White Sox at the “old” age of 22. After toiling in the minors for a little over six years (including a move to the A’s organization as a Rule 5 pick in 1997), he was a late-season call-up to Oakland in 1999 after batting .309 in Triple-A and leading the Pacific Coast League in triples. Menechino’s hard work and hustle assured him a spot on the team in 2000, but he played less than a third of the Athletics’ games behind Randy Velarde.

The following year, Velarde was traded to make way for hot prospect Jose Ortiz, and Menechino found himself once again playing second fiddle, this time to a player six years his junior. But when Ortiz struggled early on and then hit the disabled list with a strained calf, Menechino filled in with aplomb for the rest of 2001.