Friday, April 30, 2021

#115 Jim Fregosi

Some people have a bad rap because of a play (see upcoming 114 Bill Buckner)…..the word association with the name Jim Fregosi  is on the negative end of steal of the 70’s….. should be better known as the face and offensive point man during the California Angels franchise first decade...three time winner of the Gene Autry trophy as Angel MVP…. his batting numbers were modest by most other teams standard but they were stable and consistent with the Angel philosophy of small ball and stingy pitching…..Last of the original Angels being a late season call up in 1961….A mid season call up in 1962 solidified his role on the Halos….all star 6 times in a seven year span starting 1964….Best season in Anaheim was 1970 when he went yard 22 times and drove in 82…..Fregosi’s high mark was short lived for his numbers nosedived to 5 homers and 33 RBIs in a tumultuous and injury plagued 1971….The plan was for Jim to be the answer to the Met’s weakness at third base….Mets should have known what they getting with an 11th year veteran ….in reality his 1972 numbers were nearly identical to his last year as an Angel….His tenure at Flushing Meadows NY lasted 1  ½ years, in the meanwhile Nolan Ryan wins 295 more MLB games….Fregosi moves on to Texas mid 1973….a helpful reserve but his starting days were over….Retiring as player he returned to Angels as a manager midseason 1978….Was his lifelong dream fulfilled…..Helmed his long associated franchise to the AL West pennant in 1979 buoyed free agency contracts fueled by deep pockets….plus one Nolan Ryan, the man indelibly he was forever linked to…..Alas Ryan soon departed and Angels tanked….Fregosi exits to manage AAA Louisville….while not major league the Red Birds won two league titles and set minor league attendance records….invited back to the MLB scene by White Sox 1986-88….Within a five season stint managing the Phillies was able to helm them to a World Series berth falling to the Blue Jays in six games….finished his managerial calling with two years with the Toronto Blue Jays….passed away in 2014 after suffering from multiple strokes which began on a MLB cruise....handsome young man back in the day, one of the most photogenic players of his time.