Jim Fregosi (born April 4, 1942 in San Francisco, California) is a former player and manager in Major League Baseball. He is also one of many notable athletes who are alumni of Junipero Serra High School.
Fregosi is regarded as the first big star in the Los Angeles & California Angels history. He came up with the expansion team, making the All-Star squad six times and winning a Gold Glove Award.
A shortstop and right-handed batter, Fregosi was signed by the Boston Red Sox in 1960. The same year he was selected by the Angels in the expansion draft, and made his debut in the 1961 season. On December 10, 1971, Fregosi was sent to the New York Mets in the same trade that brought the pitcher Nolan Ryan to California.
Sidelined for several injuries in 1972, Fregosi struggled with the Mets, being sold to the Texas Rangers in the 1973 mid-season. After five years as a backup for the Rangers (1973-77) and a brief stint with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1977-78), he returned to the Angels as their manager in 1978. Fregosi joined a select group including Ryan, Rod Carew, Don Baylor and the faithful owner Gene Autry, compiling a record of 62-55 in 117 games, and tying for second with Texas behind the Kansas City Royals.
In 1979 Fregosi led the Angels to an 88-74 record, surprising the Royals and winning their first title in the club's 19-year franchise, but didn't have enough to get by Baltimore in the playoffs. After Ryan's departure to the Astros at the end of the season, California's pitching staff was unable to keep up the pace in 1980, sliding into the sixth place in their division. Then, Fregosi was replaced in the first half of the 1981 season. He got a new chance with the Chicago White Sox in 1986, but had a negative record and was released at the end of the 1988 season.
Fregosi returned in 1991 with the Philadelphia Phillies. Fregosi's greatest triumph as a manager came in 1993, when he led the club to the World Series. After finishing 26 games out of first place in 1992, the 1993 Phillies (featuring a cast of colorful characters like Darren Daulton, Lenny Dykstra, Dave Hollins, John Kruk, Danny Jackson, Curt Schilling, and Mitch Williams) charged to 97 wins and then further shocked the baseball world by pulling off a major upset against the two-time defending National League Champion Atlanta Braves in six games in the League Championship Series. Despite putting up a good fight against the defending World Champion Toronto Blue Jays in the World Series, Fregosi's Phillies wound up losing to Toronto in six games.
Despite the World Series run, Fregosi was often the target of criticism by the Philadelphia sports media. One general criticism of Fregosi was that he was a manager who relied on veteran players and was unable to develop younger players. He was ulimately released by the Phillies in 1996 after posting a series of dismal post-1993 seasons. Fregosi was hired away from the Giants (where he had been serving as a special assistant) as the new manager for the Blue Jays in 1999, and was replaced one year later (despite the fact that Fregosi finished above .500 in each of his two years in Toronto).
At the end of 2004, when the Phillies were looking for a manager to replace Larry Bowa, Fregosi surfaced as a candidate for the job. The job ended up going to Charlie Manuel.
In his 18-year player career, Fregosi batted .265 with 151 home runs, 706 RBI, 844 runs, 264 doubles, 78 triples, and 76 stolen bases in 1902 games played. As a manager, he had a record of 1028-1095 in 15 seasons, including an AL West Division title (1979) and a NL Championship (1993).
His number "11" was retired by the Angels in 1998.
6-time All-Star (1964, 1966-70) Gold Glove (1967) Top 10 MVP (7, 1967) Twice hit for the cycle (1964, 1968) Teamed with second baseman Bobby Knoop a duo winner of the Gold Glove award, joining a select list of eight shortstop-second baseman combinations have won the honor in the same season while playing together (1967) See also
Hitting for the cycle List of Gold Glove middle infield duos