Friday, December 6, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1976 Topps #635 Jim Fregosi

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, December 6, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1976 Topps #635.
  • Player Name, position, team: Jim Fregosi, third baseman, Texas Rangers
  • Major League Debut: September 14, 1961.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1975 stats (Rangers): 77 G, 191 AB, 25 R, 50 H, 5 2B, 0 3B, 7 HR, 33 RBI, .262 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Red Sox as a Free Agent before the 1960 season. Traded by the Mets to the Rangers 07/11/1973. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 27 (16 as a player, 11 as a manager). This is his fifteenth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: n/a
  • Commentary: By the time this card came out, James Louis Fregosi already had a very good career. From 1964 through 1970, all with the Angels, he had made the All-Star team all but one season, was a perennial MVP candidate, a consistent hitter (no less than 150 hits during that stretch), and a slick fielder to boot (Gold Glove in 1967). But when a tumor was discovered on his foot, his playing career began to be in doubt. He was traded to the Mets in the same deal that brought a young fireballer named Nolan Ryan to California. His time with the Mets was brief, mostly due to a thumb injury and in at the end of the 1973 season, he was traded to the Rangers. In 1976, Fregosi was nothing more than a backup, playing very sparingly during the course of the season. In 58 games, he would hit for a .233 average, with 2 home runs, 12 runs driven in, and percentages of .342/.331/.673. But you know what, some good must have come from sitting on the bench all that time. During the 1978 season, again as a fill in for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Gene Autry, the owner of the Angels, had this idea that the now 36-year-old Fregosi would make a good manager. On June 1, 1978, the Bucs released Jim so that he could become a manager. I don't think it has been done since then that a MLB player would retire during the season to become a manager that same year (of course I could be wrong). Fregosi would finish his 18-season playing career appearing in 1902 games, a .265 batting average, 151 home runs, 706 rbi's, a cumulative .966 fielding percentage, and the distinction of being the last of the original "Los Angeles Angels" to retire as an active player. In 1998, the Angels retired his uniform number 11. He has since been a manager for four different teams (the Angels, White Sox - that's how I first heard the name -, the Phillies - who he led to the 1993 World Series -, and the Blue Jays) and has a managerial record of 1,028-1,095.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.30-$0.75.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 15.

Tomorrow's card will be: 2000 Topps #344. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

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