Phillies' alumni fondly remember Fregosi
Longtime player, manager and scout led Philadelphia to NL pennant in 1993
The baseball community lost a dear friend with the passing of Jim Fregosi on Feb. 14. He spent 53 years in the game as a player, manager and scout. Fregosi's longest tenure as a manager was with the Phillies from 1991-96. His greatest achievement as a manager was taking the '93 Phillies to the World Series.
Many Phillies alumni have fond memories of Mr. Fregosi:
"Jim Fregosi will be deeply missed in the baseball world. Joni and the rest of the family are in our prayers. Fregos was the best manager I've ever played for. Our relationship was so special … and he was the one that taught me how to be a leader. Fregos and I could relate to each other, whether we were in the clubhouse or on the field. In 1993, The City of Brotherly Love changed the world. … Fregos was the driving force!!!"
-- Darren Daulton
"Jim Fregosi was not only one of the most respected men in baseball, he was a great man. He was a players' manager. He had that special gift as a manager that made you want to get to the field and play your [tail] off for him. Jim Fregosi was the reason that 1993 was one of the most exciting years in Philadelphia sports history."
-- Lenny Dykstra
"Jimmy was the perfect manager for our team. He knew exactly when to leave us alone and exactly when to jump our [behinds] when it was needed. … And along the way, he became our friend."
-- John Kruk
"Jimmy was the best manger I ever had the honor of playing for. He was a man who was happy every time I ever saw him. My career was less than spectacular, but would have even been more mediocre if not for Jim. The word that defines him best is trust! He trusted everyone to do their jobs. I was a manager's nightmare, but Jim trusted that I would get the job done. He made all his players better because his trust gave us confidence. He would hand me the ball in the ninth and go up the tunnel and smoke and say, 'Let me know when it's over.' He trusted me. He once said that 'Mitch doesn't have an ulcer, but he is definitely a carrier.' I loved Jimmy and his wife Joni. They both lived to be happy. I can't express the sorrow I feel for Joni, and Jimmy's five kids. He was like a father to me -- and I was just a player. I can only imagine the kind of father he was to his own kids."
-- Mitch Williams
"I am deeply saddened today about the news of Jim Fregosi. He was a dear friend and father figure to me throughout my baseball career. He gave me my first opportunity to play in the Major Leagues and taught me how to be a professional baseball player on and off the field. My prayers go out to Joni, Jim, Jr. and the rest of the Fregosi family. He was a great baseball man and he will be missed severely."
-- Mickey Morandini
"Playing for Jim Fregosi was like playing for your dad, except he always claimed I was older than him. He was a tremendous manager and a huge reason the '93 team was as good as it was. He will be sorely missed, and our thoughts and prayers go out to Joni and the kids."
-- Larry Andersen
"The thing about Jim is he was your friend, but there is a line that you don't cross when he is the manager, and everyone knew the line. He was the best manager I had played for! I will never forget him and what he gave me in the short period of time we were together."
-- Danny Jackson
"I don't know what I can say about Jim Fregosi that anybody in baseball doesn't already know. WHAT A GREAT AND KIND MAN! I can tell you what he meant to me. He was always honest with me and spoke in a way that made me feel so confident in what I was doing. He always believed in the ability that I had. He made baseball FUN!!!!"
-- Tommy Greene
"What a great leader. Jim led a group of guys who weren't supposed to do anything to a National League championship. He wasn't afraid to tell a player the truth, and I respected him for that. He will be missed."
-- Milt Thompson
"Jim was a man's man and a players' manager, but most importantly he was a great friend."
-- Dave Hollins
"Not only was Jim a great players' manager to play for, but he was also a father figure to all of his players. He not only cared about you on the field, but he cared more about how you and your family were doing off the field. He was a special man. He will be deeply missed. God bless his soul, and my condolences to his family."
-- Ricky Jordan
"I couldn't have asked for a better first manager in the big leagues. Jim was the master at dealing with different clubhouse personalities, from the biggest to the smallest. Even though I was a rookie in 1993, Jim made me feel like a veteran from the first day I was called up. Jim wanted his players to succeed -- not only to help the team, but he understood that baseball was a career choice and he would have done anything to help you on that path. He will be missed."
-- Kevin Stocker
"Jim was a great baseball man and a special friend. He will always be fondly remembered for his handling of the Phillies' 1993 team that made it to the World Series."
-- Dallas Green
"Jim was someone everyone enjoyed being around. He was a very smart man with a good sense of humor and a tremendous love for his family. He will be thought of and missed by his many friends, both in and out of Major League Baseball. My wife, Doris, and I pass along our condolences to his family."
-- Pat Gillick
"Jimmy was a very good friend of mine. I loved talking baseball with him, because we shared a lot of the same philosophies about the game, especially when it came to managing. And we both care deeply about the Phillies. I'm going to miss him and our fishing trips together. Missy and I send our thoughts and prayers to his family."
-- Charlie Manuel
"Jimmy was a man who loved life, his family and the game of baseball. He had many opinions and loved a good argument. In many ways, he was a larger-than-life character with a tremendous self-deprecating sense of humor. When asked how the Mets could have traded a young Nolan Ryan for him, he would bellow, 'What were they thinking? Didn't they know I was done?' We've lost a good friend. Our game has lost a great ambassador."
-- Chris Wheeler
"Lee Thomas brought Jim and I on board in 1989, and it is a friendship that I've valued for the past 20-plus years. Jim's magnetism and larger-than-life personality drew people to him. And, along with that outgoing spirit, Jim possessed a genuine sense of kindness and generosity. Today, we remember not only a good baseball man, but also a great human being."
-- Ed Wade
"Susie and I extend our heartfelt condolences to the Fregosi family. Jimmy will be greatly missed in the baseball world. He was bigger than life, and baseball was a better game because of him. I so looked forward to seeing him this spring and sitting at games and listening to his stories. I LOVED THE MAN."
-- Lee Thomas
"In baseball and in life, he was passionate and he enjoyed both to the fullest. He energized others with his positive energy. He was a very generous man and inspired trust in his players. He was a big reason why I was drafted by the Phillies. I truly enjoyed the years I was able to play for him."
-- Mike Lieberthal
"I have several fond memories of Jim Fregosi. He had a look -- a look without saying anything. But it said everything. You knew what he expected from you from that look."
-- David West