Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Phillies fondly remember the late Jim Fregosi

When Jim Fregosi died Friday morning at age 71 following multiple strokes, he left a sizable hole in the hearts of those who knew him best in the Phillies organization.

AP photo

When Jim Fregosi died Friday morning at age 71 following multiple strokes, he left a sizable hole in the hearts of those who knew him best in the Phillies organization.

CLEARWATER -- It seems like everybody has a story about Jim Fregosi.

The former All-Star shortstop and long-time big-league manager was a big man with a larger-than-life personality. So when Fregosi died Friday morning at age 71 following multiple strokes, he left a sizable hole in the hearts of those who knew him best in the Phillies organization.

"It's tough," said Larry Bowa, who was the third-base coach on the 1993 Phillies team Fregosi managed. "This one caught a lot of people off guard."

The Phillies boast World Series titles in 1980 and 2008, but team chairman Bill Giles said his "fondest memory" in his 75 years in baseball is Fregosi sparking their surprising run to the 1993 pennant. Nobody expected the Phillies to pull it off, with Bowa calling it a "miracle."

"I'll never forget that team," Giles said.

Several members of that 1993 Phillies team, including relievers Mitch Williams and Larry Andersen, labeled Fregosi as a father figure. They said he was a great teacher and leader who was always honest, and never shy of an argument. John Kruk said he was a "perfect manager" for the team's colorful roster, knowing when to leave them alone and when to "jump on our asses."

"In 1993 The City of Brotherly Love changed the world," former Phillies catcher Darren Daulton said. Fregos was the driving force!!!"

Fregosi played 18 seasons in the majors, including six All-Star game appearances. He managed the White Sox, Angels, Phillies and Blue Jays, with Giles admitting he considered bringing him back in 2007, when Philadelphia hired Charlie Manuel. Fregosi spent the past 14 seasons as a special assistant to the general manager with the Braves.

Fregosi's wife Joni, daughters Nikki, Lexy and Jennifer and sons Robert and Jim were at his bedside when he died.

"I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jim Fregosi, who contributed to the success of our Clubs for 53 years as an All-Star player with the Angels, a pennant-winning manager with the Phillies, a trusted scout with the Braves and many other capacities," MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said. "The outpouring of support in recent days illustrates the vast respect that Jim earned in a great baseball life. The many Clubs that he touched are in mourning today."

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@tampabay.com. Follow him on Twitter @TBTimes_JSmith.

Phillies fondly remember the late Jim Fregosi 02/14/14 [Last modified: Friday, February 14, 2014 3:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  3. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary season

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    fit test: Top draft pick Cal Foote puts on his Lightning jersey.
  4. Rays designate catcher Derek Norris for assignment

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — C Derek Norris tied a career-high with three hits in Friday's 15-5 win against the Orioles then was designated for assignment after the game to make room on the 25-man roster for C Wilson Ramos.

    Matt Duffy is expected to resume his baseball activities once the stitches heal.
  5. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote

    Blogs

    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.