Former Manager Fregosi Passes Away After Multiple Strokes

AP Photo

After suffering multiple strokes aboard a Major League Alumni Carribbean Cruise earlier this week, former Phillies Manager Jim Fregosi passed away early Friday morning at 71.

The leader of the 1993 Phillies team, Fregosi had been with the Atlanta Braves as a special assistant for 13 seasons, but was still present in Citizens Bank Park.

As a kid growing up in Philly, like many others, I was obsessed with the ’93 team. I even got the opportunity to meet Fregosi a few times as a youngster, and that gruff exterior was just part of the man. He was always kind.

And while we think of Dutch, Dude, Krukker, and Schill first and foremost, Fregosi was very much a key figure in guiding that team of misfits about as far as possible.

Bob Brookover has a fine look at the life of Fregosi in baseball and the relationships he had within the Phillies organization.

As a player, we rarely hear of Fregosi’s accomplishments, however he was one of the best  in Angels history. He is the all-time leader in WAR in team history and was a six-time All-Star.

Phillies president David Montgomery released this statement on behalf of the organization:

“Everyone in the Phillies organization is deeply saddened about the news of Jim’s passing.  We, and so many others in the game, have lost a dear friend. He’ll be remembered for his vibrant personality, wisdom and love of the game.  Our deepest sympathy is extended to his widow, Joni, daughters Nikki, Lexy and Jennifer and sons Robert and Jim.”



  1. mudmin

    February 14, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Oh wow. That’s sad. He brought us an awesome season. Prayers go out to his family.

  2. Pspphil

    February 14, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    R.I.P. Jim Fregosi. Thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones. The 1993 Phillies to this day go down as my favorites, even though they came up short. I will always cherish the memories from that season.

  3. Dave B

    February 14, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    Always like Fregosi . He was a players coach. The 93 team gelled well with him as manager . It is sad that they came up short but what a team he had . Jim will greatly be missed. My condolinces to his family .

  4. schmenkman

    February 14, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    We knew Fregosi as a manager, but Pat is right to also point out how good a player he was, especially early in his career before a number of health issues, including a foot tumor at 29:

    He received MVP votes every year from age 21 through age 28.

    He was also one of the best young shortstops in MLB history. On the list of highest WAR by a shortstop through age 28, Fregosi ranks 5th all-time (from bb-ref):

    1) ARod 71
    2) A.Vaughan 60
    3) Young 50
    4) Ripken 50
    5) FREGOSI 45
    6) Banks 43

    10) Trammel 38
    11) Jeter 37
    12) Garciaparra 35

    • schmenkman

      February 14, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      *3) Yount 50

  5. Mudmin

    February 14, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    Once again, great analysis Schmenkman.

  6. Lefty

    February 15, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Sad news. Now that I’m nearly 60, when I hear someone died at 71- it just seems too young. He was indeed a very good SS, both offensive and defense while with the Angels. But after he was traded to the Mets he was never the same player. He was infamously known as the guy traded for the great Nolan Ryan, who he would then eventually manage on the Angels in 1979.

    The 1993 team just plain over-achieved their talent level on paper, and Fregosi duly gets a lot of credit for that. Anyone that thinks Billy Beane was the first to implement the idea that OBP was more important than BA, didn’t watch this 93 team.

    RIP Jim

    • Chuck A.

      February 15, 2014 at 8:28 am

      Amen to all of that, Lefty. I can relate now that I’m closer to 60 than to 50. Yikes!

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