(Corrects trade with Angels for Nolan Ryan in fifth paragraph.)
Jim Fregosi, a six-time All-Star who went on to become a pennant-winning manager during a 53-year Major League Baseball career, has died. He was 71.
Fregosi died early this morning in Miami, according to the Atlanta Braves, for whom he worked as a special assistant to the general manager since 2000. The team didn’t say how he died in a statement posted on its website. ESPN, citing a person and a spokesman for the cruise line that it didn’t identify, reported that he died from complications after suffering multiple strokes while on an MLB alumni cruise on Feb. 11.
“We have lost a dear friend and a wonderful baseball man,” Braves President John Schuerholz said in a statement. “The Atlanta Braves will truly miss Jim, and we send our deepest condolences to his wife, Joni, his entire family and all of his many friends throughout baseball.”
James Louis Fregosi was born April 4, 1942, in San Francisco, according to Baseball-Reference.com.
An infielder who earned six All-Star Game invitations as a shortstop before later playing first and third base, Fregosi entered Major League Baseball in 1961 with the Los Angeles Angels, where he played for 11 seasons. He also had stints with the New York Mets, Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates, retiring in 1978 with a .265 career batting average and 151 home runs. The Mets acquired him from the Angels for Nolan Ryan, who went on to be a Hall of Fame pitcher.
Fregosi, who also spent time as a scout, became the Angels’ manager in 1978, leading the team for four seasons. He led the Chicago White Sox from 1986-88 and the Philadelphia Phillies from 1991-96, leading the club to the 1993 National League title and a six-game loss in the World Series to the Toronto Blue Jays. Fregosi later managed the Blue Jays, from 1999-2000, finishing his career with a 1,094-1,028 record.
“We, and so many others in the game, have lost a dear friend,” Phillies President David Montgomery said in a statement. “He’ll be remembered for his vibrant personality, wisdom and love of the game.”
Fregosi is survived by his wife, daughters Nikki, Lexy and Jennifer and sons Robert and Jim, according to the Phillies.
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