Skip to main content

Former Twins great Viola to undergo heart surgery


One of the greatest pitchers in Twins history will undergo open heart surgery next week in New York.

ESPN reports that Frank Viola will undergo open heart surgery next Wednesday. He will be unable to serve as the pitching coach for the Mets' Triple A affiliate in Las Vegas.

"Frank Viola underwent a recent medical examination during spring training," the Mets said in a statement Tuesday. "Mets physicians discovered a heart condition that needed to be corrected as soon as possible. Frank will undergo surgery next week in New York. The family welcomes all prayers but requests privacy during this time."

Viola, 53, retired as a player following the 1996 season. He played eight seasons with the Twins. His time in Minnesota was highlighted by the 1987 World Series Championship. Viola, nicknamed "Sweet Music," was named the MVP of the World Series after picking up wins in Games 1 and 7, helping the Twins beat the Cardinals.

The following season, in 1988, Viola won the American League Cy Young Award.

With the Mets in 1990, Viola led the National League in innings pitched, throwing 249 2/3 innings. He finished 20-12 that season and posted a 2.67 ERA.

According to the Associated Press, Viola went 176-150 with a 3.73 ERA in 15 major league seasons with Minnesota, the Mets, Boston, Cincinnati and Toronto.

He had spent the last three seasons as a Class A pitching coach for the Mets. In January, Viola was promoted to be the pitching coach in Las Vegas.

Viola's children have had quite a bit of their own athletic success. His son recently signed a contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, his daughter was an Olympic diver in 2012.

Next Up

Kirk Cousins

Mike Zimmer wants Kirk Cousins to keep 'going for the jugular'

But at what point is being aggressive too aggressive?

pixabay gun holding - CROP

'Extraordinarily bad idea': MN sheriff urges locals against firing 'warning shots'

The sheriff has seen a "handful" of warning shot incidents lately in response to possible prowlers.

waukesha parade screengrab

Waukesha parade: Police ID victims, reveal more about suspect

Two injured children remain in critical condition.

Dodge Center

Large police response to incident in Dodge Center

Triton Public Schools have been placed in a soft lockdown as a precaution.

rochester 1

Gallery: Renovated downtown Rochester home on the market for $2.3M

It's steps from the Mayo Clinic in an historic neighborhood.

hopkins high school GSV Pro - CROP

As students protest Rittenhouse verdict, fight in school prompts shelter-in-place

The high school issued a shelter in place as a result of the altercation.

deer hunting

Man shot in group hunting accident in southern Minnesota

It happened Saturday afternoon in Olmsted County.

long term care elderly

400 MN National Guard members headed to long-term care facilities

The governor also hopes to provide $50 million in federal funding to help facilities hire more workers.

Smack Shack Facebook 2

Smack Shack's 4th Twin Cities location opens in December

It's taking over a former Fuddruckers — meaning lots of seating and a bigger kitchen.

Franconia Sculpture Park - Lorie Shaull - Flickr

5 outdoor spots to explore on Black Friday (instead of shopping)

There's something for everyone on this list of Twin Cities destinations.

holiday shopping

Money Gal Coaching: 4 tips to avoid holiday shopping debt

Kelly Blodgett used her passion behind becoming debt free to launch Money Gal Coaching.