• Last modified 6018 days ago (Dec. 28, 2007)
  • Return to Checkerboard

Son writes tribute to father

Frank H. Paulin, sergeant in the 370th Artillery Division, Service Battery, died in 2003. Born in 1922, in Cleveland OH, Frank excelled as a baseball player in both his grade school and high school, pitching in championship and all-star games both at old League Park and the newly-built Cleveland Municipal Stadium. When not playing for his school teams, Frank played on company-sponsored sandlot teams. In 1941, he signed with the Burley Cubs of the Appalachian League in Greeneville, Tennessee.

In 1942, Paulin pitched with the Three Rivers Foxes in Three Rivers, Quebec, part of the Canadian-American League. His teammate was the noted one-armed outfielder, Pete Gray, who later played for the St. Louis Browns major league franchise. When Gray couldn't play, Frank played center field in his place. Frank was 15-9 with a 2.66 ERA.

The years 1943 through early 1946 saw Frank serving in the 370th Artillery Battalion of the 99th Infantry Division. He saw action at the heart of the Battle of the Bulge in battles at Krinkelt, Elsenborn Ridge, and Remagen among others.

He left the battlefield with a severe staph infection in his arm and was hospitalized in Liege, Belgium. While at the hospital, he contracted diphtheria and almost died. When he eventually recovered, he wandered through Belgium on his own to eventually reconnect with the 370th in Germany.

After the war, Paulin resumed his baseball career in 1946, with the Leaksville NC Triplets in the Carolina League. The team finished at the bottom of the league that season, but Frank managed to pitch 303 innings, strike out 237, appear in 45 games, and throw 31 complete games, ending with a record of 21-18. He was named to the league all-star team that year.

His total innings pitched were third highest in the minors nationally according to Sporting News for the 1946 season. His 303 innings and 31 complete games is a Carolina League season record to this day.

Based on his performance in '46, Paulin was invited to spring training in Cocoa FL, in 1947 with the Milwaukee Brewers, then the AA affiliate of the Boston Braves. Paulin started the season, however, with the Hartford Chiefs, the Braves' A affiliate in the Eastern League. Midway through the '47 season, Frank was flown to Indiana to help the Braves' class B farm team, the Evansville Braves. For the season, Paulin was 7-9 with a 3.10 ERA.

In 1948, Paulin signed with the Raleigh Capitals of the Carolina League. Frank was 17-8 with a 3.46 ERA and led the Caps to the league championship in 1948.

With the births of their sons in 1948 and 1949, Frank and his wife, Margaret, moved back to the Cleveland area where he worked in industrial boiler sales and service. The family moved to Kirtland in suburban Cleveland in 1954, where they lived for 49 years.

In June 1969, Paulin was appointed to Kirtland Village Council. In 1970, Frank was elected to Kirtland City council and served until December 1973.

In 1971, Paulin started his own firm, the F.H. Paulin Company, specializing in industrial heating, boiler parts, and service.

Frank retired in 1988. He retained an active civic interest in community activities and served on the Kirtland City Charter Commission during 2000.

Frank is survived by his wife, Margaret, four sons and a daughter, 11 grandchildren, and six nieces and nephews.