A graduate of the University of Utah, Franks was a weak-hitting backup catcher for several NL teams. He scouted for the Giants for a dozen years, then became manager of their Salt Lake City club in 1961. He managed the Giants to four straight second-place finishes, 1965-68. He was also credited with straightening Willie Mays’s financial affairs, which were a mess when Franks arrived in San Francisco. After leaving the Giants, he had a successful business career and formed a group that tried to buy the Yankees in 1972. He came out of retirement to manage the Cubs for three seasons beginning in 1977 as a favor to his friend, Cubs GM Bob Kennedy.