Sunday, February 16, 2014

In Memoriam: Jim Fregosi

1991 Topps

The younger generation of baseball fans will remember Jim Fregosi mostly as a manager, but he was a very good player also.  His managerial career began in 1978 with the Angels and ended with Toronto after the 2000 season.  His biggest success was with the Philadelphia Phillies as he led them to the National League pennant in 1993.
1965 Topps
As a player, his accomplishments are unfortunately overshadowed by a trade he was involved in.  The New York Mets, who were in need of an infield bat, traded for Fregosi.  They shipped four players to the Angels including a young hard throwing right hander by the name of Nolan Ryan.  Ryan, of course, blossomed into a Hall of Fame pitcher while Fregosi was hampered by injuries and became a part time player.  He finished his career in 1978 after playing with the Rangers and Pirates also.  An ironic footnote to the Fregosi/Ryan trade is that Fregosi later managed Ryan for his last two seasons with Angels.
Prior to this trade, Fregosi was one of the first stars of the expansion Los Angeles Angels.  He was a six time All Star and a Gold Glove winner.  For his accomplishments his uniform number 11 was retired by the team in 1998.

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