Jim Fregosi
vs. the Mets
Jim Fregosi
vs. Other Teams
Game Log Memories of
Jim Fregosi
Jim Fregosi
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 151 of 1043 players
James Louis Fregosi
Born: April 4, 1942 at San Francisco, Cal.
Died: February 14, 2014 at Miami, Fla.
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Height: 6.02 Weight: 190

Jim Fregosi was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on January 25, 2009, July 9, 2013, February 13, 2014, February 14, 2014, February 15, 2014, and March 22, 2015.

3b ss 1b of

First Mets game: April 15, 1972
Last Mets game: July 7, 1973

Share your memories of Jim Fregosi


Jim, have another milkshake would you?! Talk about being fleeced in a trade - the Mets failed miserably to check this guy out before pulling the trigger on the deal. 190 lbs? Maybe in one of his juvenile pictures - when I saw this guy play, he looked like Don Zimmer. Meanwhile, Ryan went on to set records for strikeouts, no hitters, longevity, and yes, walks!

flushing flash
February 23, 2001
I don't remember Fregosi as a player, but recently I was reading about how the Mets acquired him. They felt that they had serious infield problems and dispatched one of their scouts to check out some players. He came back with a glowing report on Fregosi, who had been a star with the Angels but had had some injury problems. The scout said that Fregosi could still play. So eventually the GM (Scheffing?) made the deal. Two years later the scout was now with another organization and he ran into the bald, bespectacled Traveling Secretary of the Mets, the great Lou Niss. He commented to Niss about what a shame it was that the Fregosi trade worked out so poorly and Niss glared at him and said, "What are you telling me for? Back in New York they blame you for that trade!"

July 20, 2001
Not only did they trade Ryan. But, they had to sweeten the pot with three other players to "pry" Fregosi from the Angels. OUCH!

CereBral Assassin
June 19, 2002
I think the trade with Fregosi was a good one! Nolan Ryan? Big Deal. Too bad the Mets never had Fregosi as manager. Look what he did for Philly, took them to the World Series, and could have won it, had he not lost it on purpose. I mean, comon, who would put Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams in unless they WANTED to lose! Jim Fregosi, a sure thing when it comes to the Hall of Fame! Thanks for the memories Jim!

October 25, 2002
Q: How does a player with career highs of 22 home runs and 82 rbi and with a losing managerial record get his number retired?

A: Get traded for Nolan Ryan!

Jack M
November 6, 2002
Bill James rated Fregosi the 15th best Shortstop of all time. That's how he gets traded for a spot starter and a journey man rightfielder. It just didn't work out.

If he played in the same era and in New York instead of Rizzuto, he'd be in the HOF. Rizzuto was the 16th rated SS.

His foot never healed which cost him the 1971 season and the rest of his career.

It was a bad trade, but it didn't seem so at the time.

Jeff Katz
June 5, 2003
I can recall leaning over the railing and peeking into the Mets dugout before a game and there was Fregosi, sitting on the bench, out of shape and smoking a cigarette. It was disillusioning to see a major leaguer looking like some slob who didn't care.

October 3, 2003
The kicker to the Fregosi trade is they just HAD to make this deal because Fregosi was going to solve their 3B problem. One problem with that: I don't think Fregosi had played 3B in his life! And it sure looked like it when he was with the Mets. But he was a terrific hitting SS long before he got to NY. If he was with a decent team instead of the Angels, he'd have been glorified.

June 28, 2004
When they did the trade in 1971, I thought it was great, because Ryan was supposedly wild, and Fregosi supposedly a great slugger. Of course, I was eight years old.

Little did I know that Fregosi was moving to third, had never played there, outweighed Mo Vaughn, would break his thumb in spring training, drink like a fish, and bat .236.

When the Mets found the Texas Rangers willing to take him off their hands, Fregosi showed up in Dallas and told a reporter he was going to write a book called, "The Bases Were Loaded and So Was I."

Second worst trade ever. And I've seen plenty. (Worst being the Seaver deal)

Mr. Sparkle
October 4, 2004
Some say he is the front runner to be the next Mets manager. Come on, do you want the player the Mets got in arguably the worst trade of all time to be their skipper? He was a disaster in NY as a player, what makes Wilpon think he'll be a good manager? I'm sure he would be so-so but you need more personality than Fregosi. He won't get me excited and won't help bring anyone into Shea. He fell apart as a player when he came here and I can just see it now, two years down the road the Mets eating the last two years of his contract because once again they underachieved. I want no part of this guy.

October 12, 2004
Fregosi for Met manager... This one brought a smile. While Fregosi has had a decent track record as a manager and was an all-star with The Angels, his consideration for the position demonstartes how out of touch the Wilpons are with the Mets' fans and the team's past. It's one thing for a team to obtain a sworn enemy(Leo Durocher going from the Dodgers to the Giants and back again), but another to bring back into the fold a player whose very name is synonymous with Met failure and futility. It would be like the Red Sox bringing back Bill Buckner as manager.

Jonathan Stern
December 27, 2004
Fregosi was for many years considered one of the very best players in Angels history. He then led the Angels to their very first postseason as their manager in 1979. And, of course, he later won a pennant in Philly. True, he may have lost more games than won in his managerial career. And his handling of Mitch in the 1993 World Series will be second-guessed forever, as is probably appropriate. But, in my book, he has had an extremely distinguished MLB career. Fregosi is a good baseball man.

That said, he was the losing end of the worst trade in baseball history. And it was the worst trade in baseball history. That's fact, not opinion. No other dumb trade compares. No matter how you slice and dice it, Scheffing and Grant really messed up with this one. It may not be fair for Fregosi to be remembered more for this than for anything else. But, then again, life isn't always fair. Just ask the 1993 Phils. Or Bill Buckner. Or any of us who have rooted for the Mets since Buckner's bungle.

June 10, 2005
There's a lot of harsh stuff written here. Somehow I don't think it's fair to dump it all on Jim! While it's true we gave up Ryan, no one can truthfully say they thought he'd turn into a legendary Hall of Famer! Fregosi was damaged goods, with a bad back when he got here! That's where the Mets brass, (especially M.Donald Grant) has to take the blame! He was an All-Star S.S. with the Angels, the Mets get him to play 3rd. Stupid! 25 years later they tried the same thing with Jefferies and Miller! It doesn't work! I think he's a good baseball man, and I would not have minded if he was named Met Manager before Willie got the job.

March 30, 2008
It's prety unfortunate the Fregosi gets remembered for a trade he had nothing to do with years later. When in reality, he was one of the very best shortstops in the league for most of his career.

May 16, 2010
Getting back to the story Flushing Flash told: that scout was Lloyd Gearhart, who played for the Giants in 1947. In Mike Shannon's "Tales from the Ballpark" he told the story from his point of view, which was that he became the scapegoat. He said "I recommended Fregosi, sure, but I didn't say to get the man at all costs. And I sure as hell didn't recommend that we trade Nolan Ryan for burned me up to get blamed for that trade when I had nothing to do with it."

Feat Fan
May 28, 2010
At one time an elite AL shortstop. Typically hit .275, drove in 65 runs, ran and fielded well. Teamed with Bobby Knoop to form a solid DP combo in Cali. Became a journeyman after leaving the Mets but I for one was not unhappy at the time of the trade. He was young and productive until he hit Shea.

Randy Scouse Git
July 13, 2010
We all know that Jim came to the Mets for Nolan Ryan, who went on to become a legend. An overlooked fact is that three other Mets players were sent to the Angels with Ryan for Jim alone. It was the worst trade in Mets' history and it made Jim look bad through no fault of his own.

Jim was really a victim of misjudgment with that trade. The Mets acquired him for the wrong reason. The team wanted him to resolve their ongoing third base problem. For ten years, Jim had been a shortstop and never played one inning at third. He could not have been expected to make such an adjustment at that stage of his career. Traded for four guys (Ryan or no Ryan) and asked to play a new position were unfair to Jim. He was bound to be a disappointment due to a lack of quality thinking among Mets' personnel.

After leaving the Mets, Jim himself helped make the trade look even worse for them. He returned to the Angels as their manager and led them to their first division title in 1979. His ace pitcher that season was none other than Nolan Ryan. Once on the wrong end of an awful deal, Jim got redemption for it nearly eight years later. The Mets, however, have never totally lived it down.

Ed K
February 21, 2012
I recall seeing Ryan pitch an awful game at the Vet in September 1971 and it did not surprise me that they traded him for Fregosi. It was a classic trade in which a team rolls the dice and it turns out to be horrible. But I am not sure that Ryan would have hit stardom as a Met. The higher AL strike zone certainly helped him.

As for Fregosi, what is often forgotten is that after the Mets traded him to Texas, his level of play improved dramatically for several years so it may be that he was an AL guy. Of course, Texas let him play at 1B more and 3B less.

An interesting question is whether the Mets would have won in 1973 if they had not practically given Fregosi away mid-year to Texas which was not even a contender looking for help. It freed up 3B for Rusty Garrett who ended up having a career year - for him anyway.

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