The 100 Greatest Angels: # 8 Jim Fregosi

#8 Jim Fregosi, SS

Mangerial Record

Career Record

Jim Fregosi was born two months before Paul McCartney but had already completed three seasons of big league ball when the Beatles arrived in America. He played his first Major League game at age 19, making him a proven commodity in his prime ten years later when he was traded to the Mets for Nolan Ryan.

While he was noted for his defensive range (turning 125 Double Plays in 1966 alone), his offensive stats piled up over time and, despite playing as an Angel during the dustbin of the deadball era, he is among the all-time leaders in Angel history in numerous batting categories.

Consider that his .287 batting average in 1963 ranked 9th in the American League, or his .290 average in 1967 ranked 7th. Jim's OPS of .833 was 10th in the A.L. in 1964 - you have to wonder why it took them ten more years to institute the Designated Hitter rule.

For the fledgling Angels, Fregosi was the face of the team, appearing in the All-Star Game 6 times under the Halo.

Of his ten seasons in Wrigley, the Ravine and finally Anaheim Stadium, Fregosi saw everything but the postseason. He accomplished that in 1979 as an Angels manager. As great as it was, there needs to be a little rant here about his getting fired midway through the 1981 season when the team's awful record was obviously the fault of the Angels General Manager- that stupid and overrated old coot Buzzie Bavasi who chucked way the good parts of the late-70s Angel teams for next to nothing.

Standing in the dugout with a long mane of coiffed black hair that would go uncut until the team had clinched the West, Manager Fregosi owned most of the team's offensive records. He is still among the franchise leaders:

4th in games Played

4th in At Bats and Plate Appearances

5th in Runs Scored

5th in Total Bases

1st with 70 Triples

7th in RBI

4th in Walks

5th in XBH

5th in Runs Created

4th in Times on Base

4th in Power Speed Number

Interestingly, Fregosi is only in three Top Ten Single Season Categories: 6th place for playing 161 games in 1965 and 69, 2nd and 5th for Triples with 13 and 12 in 1968 and 63 respectively, and tied for 10th place with 93 walks in 1969.

For his managerial magic, his Captain of Counting Stats, his amazing leather at Short and his Fregosimania status as Angel of the decade for the 1960s, Jim Fregosi is an All-Time Angel.

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