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Former manager Fregosi dies

The SportsXchange

Former major league manager Jim Fregosi died Friday morning from complications due to multiple strokes. He was 71.

Fregosi spent 53 seasons in professional baseball, including managing at the major-league level for 15 years. He managed the California Angels, Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays as part of his long career. He compiled a 1,028-1,094 record over that span.

His oldest son, Jim Fregosi Jr., told MLB.com that his father died at 2:36 a.m. and "went in peace with no pain."

Fregosi guided the Phillies to the National League pennant in 1993 with a 97-65 record.

"Everyone in the Phillies organization is deeply saddened about the news of Jim's passing," Phillies president David Montgomery said in a statement. "We, and so many others in the game, have lost a dear friend. He'll be remembered for his vibrant personality, wisdom and love of the game."

Fregosi also managed the Angels to the American League West championship in 1979 after going 88-74.

As a player, Fregosi was a six-time All-Star at shortstop in 18 seasons with the Angels, New York Mets, Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates. He had a .265 batting average with 151 home runs and 706 RBIs over his career. His No. 11 jersey was retired by the Angels in 1988.

Fregosi spent the past 13 seasons with the Braves, most recently as a special assistant to general manager Frank Wren.

"We have lost a dear friend and a wonderful baseball man," Braves president Jon 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."

ESPN New York reported that Fregosi suffered a stroke while on a Major League Baseball alumni cruise and was hospitalized. He then reportedly went into a medically-induced coma.

An MSC Cruises spokeswoman said Fregosi became ill Tuesday as the MSC Divina headed from Grand Cayman to Cozumel, Mexico. The ship returned to Grand Cayman, and Fregosi was later hospitalized in Miami. He was removed from life support Thursday, a family spokesman told MLB.com.

"I'm sorry to say he did pass away," White Sox special assistant Dave Yoakum told ESPN New York. "I always knew when I walked into the ballpark and saw Jim sitting there I was going to learn something about baseball and have lots of laughs the next three to four days. Fishing with him, Lee Elia, Charlie Manuel and Dom Chiti are memories I will cherish for the rest my life. I'm going to miss Jim tremendously."

In a statement, commissioner Bud Selig said, "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. 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.

"On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Jim's wife Joni, his entire family and his many friends and admirers throughout our game."
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