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Jim Fregosi: 1942-2014

Feb 14, 2014, 6:50 AM EDT

Portrait of California Angels' Jim Fregosi

Six-time All-Star and NL Pennant-winning manager Jim Fregosi has died at a Miami hospital. He was 71.

Fregosi suffered multiple strokes while on an MLB alumni cruise last weekend. After being stabilized in the Cayman Islands, he was airlifted to Miami on Wednesday night. He was taken off life support yesterday afternoon and died at 2:30 this morning. Tracy Ringolsby reports that Fregosi’s wife Joni, his daughters Nikki, Lexy and Jennifer, and sons Robert and Jim were by his side as he passed away.

Fregosi was an expansion-draft selection of the Los Angeles Angels in 1960 and became that team’s first star. He was a six-time All-Star as a shortstop over the course of his 18-year career, playing for the Angels, New York Mets, Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates. He finished his career with a line of .265/.338/.398. In the low-offensive era in which he played, that worked out to a 113 OPS+ which is excellent for a shortstop.

Fregosi’s managing career had him at the helm of the Angels, White Sox, Phillies and Blue Jays. Overall he was 1028-1094 with an AL West title in 1979 and an NL Pennant with Philly in 1993.  For the past 13 years he has been an assistant to the general manager for the Atlanta Braves, where he was primarily a scout. His son Jim Jr. is a major league scout as well.

Farewell to one of the games more overlooked, but most respected, stars.

  1. shawndc04 - Feb 14, 2014 at 7:27 AM

    Great ballplayer, good guy. Peace, Jim. Condolences to the family.

  2. sdelmonte - Feb 14, 2014 at 7:52 AM

    Great player and forever remembered by Mets fans as the guy they got for Nolan Ryan. RIP.

  3. skibikekayak - Feb 14, 2014 at 7:52 AM

    The Mets traded Nolan Ryan to the Angels to get Jim Fregosi.

  4. alkaline19 - Feb 14, 2014 at 7:54 AM

    Condolences to the Fregosi family. He was a good guy.

  5. largebill - Feb 14, 2014 at 7:58 AM

    Rest in peace.

    Through age 28 he was on a path to be one of the best shortstops ever. The raw numbers aren’t eye popping, but when you consider he played most of his career in a period of low offensive production it looks a lot better. A sign of how well regarded he was is that he received MVP votes each of the first 8 years of his career. Maybe I need more coffee, but off top of my head I can’t think of a SS who was better in the 1960’s.

    • cohnjusack - Feb 14, 2014 at 8:22 AM

      There wasn’t. Despite no not playing full time until 1963, he still lead all shortstops in WAR from 1960-1969.

      During his peak, it’s not even close.
      Best shortstops from 1963 – 1970
      Jim Fregosi – 41.2 WAR
      DIck McAuliffe – 29.6 WAR (though DIck’s time was split between SS and 2B
      Rico Petrocilli – 26.8 WAR (and the answer to the trivia question “Who was the 2nd shortstop to hit 40 HR in a season”)

      • raysfan1 - Feb 14, 2014 at 1:25 PM

        Don’t forget Luis Aparicio–34.5 WAR for 1960-1969, 10 of those being in the years 1960-1962. He had a longer peak period than Fregosi though.

      • happytwinsfan - Feb 14, 2014 at 5:08 PM

        dick mcauliffe had a batting stance that half the kids in michigan (myself included) tried to imitate.

  6. raysfan1 - Feb 14, 2014 at 8:20 AM

    Prayers for peace and comfort for his family.

  7. flyinhighwithvick - Feb 14, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    The summer of 1993 was a great time in Philly with “Free-Go” leading the way. I can still see Mitch Williams jumping in the air after striking out Bill Pecota to send the Braves home.

    RIP Skipper

  8. DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 14, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    So sad, he was such a gregarious guy, always smiling – unless he was ripping into an Ump!

  9. dprusso01 - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    The right guy to handle those guys in 93. RIP Jim.

  10. asimonetti88 - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    One of the great Angels of all time

  11. cur'68 - Feb 14, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    So long and Happy Trails, Mr. Fregosi.

  12. Glenn - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    Jim Fregosi – class act.

  13. bpacha76 - Feb 15, 2014 at 2:30 AM

    Rip ‘gosi y’all are in my families prayers

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