1993 Phils mourn Jim Fregosi

Phillies manager Jim Fregosi holds aloft the National League championship trophy alongside team president Bill Giles during a victory drive around Veterans Stadium in 1993.

Jim Fregosi won more than 1,000 games as the manager for four teams.

He was a six-time All-Star shortstop for the California Angels. The team retired his uniform number.

The New York Mets traded him for Nolan Ryan, one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history.

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But for Phillies fans, Fregosi will always be remembered as the manager of one of the most beloved teams in Philadelphia sports history - the 1993 National League champions.

Fregosi died Friday after an apparent stroke. He was 71.

"Fregosi and I could relate to each other whether we were in the clubhouse or on the field," former Phillies catcher Darren Daulton, the leader of the 1993 team, said in a statement Friday. "In 1993, The City of Brotherly Love changed the world. Fregosi was the driving force!"

The 1993 Phillies lost to the Toronto Blue Jays in six games in the World Series. For Phillies fans now ages 30-45, the 1993 team was the first winner they saw. Many of those fans, who now make up the core of Phillies supporters, were too young to remember the 1980 or 1983 Philadelphia teams that played in the World Series.

The 1993 Phillies were characters. With shaggy hair and less-than-perfect physiques, they didn't look like prototypical baseball players. Their appearance earned them the nickname "Macho Row."

"Jimmy was the perfect manager for our team," said former Phillies first baseman and current ESPN commentator John Kruk. "He knew exactly when to leave us alone and exactly when to jump our asses when it was needed. Along the way, he became our friend."

The Phillies lost the World Series when Mitch Williams gave up a series-winning home run to Joe Carter in Game 6. Fregosi said last August at a 1993 team reunion that he did not regret putting Williams in the game.

"Jim trusted that I would get the job done. He made all his players better because his trust gave us confidence," Williams said. "He was like a father to me."

The Atlanta Braves said they were notified by a family member that Fregosi died early Friday in Miami, where he was hospitalized after the apparent stroke while on a cruise with baseball alumni.

Fregosi ended more than 50 years in baseball as a special assistant to Braves general manager Frank Wren.

"Jim played a vital role in our club over the last 13 years," Wren said Friday. "As a senior adviser he was someone you could always pick up the phone and get a feel for the players in the game. He covered all 30 teams for us and was such a positive, knowledgeable resource. He lit up a room and had just great relationships throughout the game.

"When I first became GM, one of the things that made the transition so easy was having Jim as close as a phone call for advice and help or encouragement."

In addition to the 1993 Phillies, Fregosi managed the 1979 Angels to their first American League Western Division title. He also managed the Chicago White Sox and Toronto Blue Jays.

Phillies president David Montgomery said the team and others in baseball "lost a dear friend."

"He'll be remembered for his vibrant personality, wisdom and love of the game," Montgomery said in a statement. "Our deepest sympathy is extended to his widow, Joni, daughters Nikki, Lexy and Jennifer and sons Robert and Jim."

Fregosi hit .265 with 151 homers and 706 RBIs as an infielder in the majors from 1961-78. His best seasons came with the Angels.

The Angels, who retired Fregosi's No. 11 in 1988, said in a statement that Fregosi was a personal favorite of their late owner Gene Autry.

"His contributions and passion for the Angels, both as a player and manager, have served as the standard for others within our organization through the years," the Angels said.

"Jim's induction into the Angels Hall of Fame and the retiring of his uniform No. 11, were among the prouder moments in club history. His personality was infectious, his love of the game legendary, and his knowledge endless."

Fregosi left the Angels in a 1971 trade with the New York Mets that sent Nolan Ryan to California.

Fregosi later played for the Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates. He began his managing career at 36 with the Angels in April 1978 - two days after his final game as a player with the Pirates.

In 15 seasons as a manager, he posted a 1,028-1,094 record.

James Louis Fregosi was born in 1942 in San Francisco and starred in baseball, football basketball and track and field at Serra High School. He signed with the Boston Red Sox out of high school and went to the Angels in the 1960 expansion draft.

(Charles Odum of The Associated Press in Atlanta contributed to this report.)

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