He was discharged in 1945, too late for the baseball season. He returned to recreational work. Early in 1946 Dascoli mailed out letters to several minor league presidents. Did they need an umpire, inexperienced but enthusiastic? Yes, said the Eastern Shore League, and Frank went to work for them at $185 a month, plus $75 a month living expenses.
Dascoli went up the ladder two rungs at a time. From the Eastern Shore, a Class D league, he went, that first season of 1946, to the Canadian-American League, Class C. The following season he was promoted to the International League, Triple-A.
It was in the spring of 1948 that Dascoli met Larry Goetz, the veteran National League umpire. Frank was ordered to report to Ciudad Trujillo, where the Dodgers were training, to work exhibition games. It was suggested that he look up Goetz, who was also there.
"It was the turning point," says Dascoli. "I paged Goetz, he greeted me and insisted I stay at the same hotel. Then we started talking about umpiring."
At breakfast and at dinner Goetz lectured the young umpire. They took long walks in the warm spring evenings, down to the sea and back, going over the day's work and what Dascoli had done wrong. Goetz told him about positioning and timing, told him that he shouldn't make his call too soon. He made Frank move up closer to the catcher and altered his way of calling balls and strikes, which he considered too showy.
As far as Dascoli is concerned, there was never an umpire like Goetz. "He taught me more in one month than I had learned in two years. He was a man of great principle. He refused to umpire All-Star Games because we don't get paid. He was right. We should get paid. After all, it's work. But refusing to work the games got him in trouble with Warren Giles, president of the National League. They'll tell you he retired, but they made him resign."
Dascoli returned to Triple-A, but on July 4, 1948 he was promoted to the National League.
"Someone got hurt—I forget who—and I was told to report to Shibe Park in Philadelphia. The Phillies were playing a double-header against the Boston Braves. I worked at third base and was scared as hell. Luckily I was with Goetz. I didn't have a tough call all day."
One afternoon, three years later, Dascoli did have a tough call. He made it, and the people of Brooklyn may never forget it.
It was September 27, 1951, and the Dodgers were playing the Braves in Boston. Late in the game Dascoli called a sliding Brave safe at the plate. Roy Campanella, the catcher, whirled in rage and slammed his mask to the ground. As it hit, Dascoli threw Campanella out of the game. Dodgers charged the plate and surrounded Dascoli. There was a pennant at stake, and the Dodgers were incensed that as important a player as Campanella should be thrown out. Finally the game was continued and the Dodgers lost by that one run. In the ninth inning, with a runner on second, Campanella would have been up. The defeat dropped the Dodger lead to half a game over the New York Giants, who eventually beat them on Bobby Thomson's home run.