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Fregosi honored before Angels-Phillies game

Fregosi honored before Angels-Phillies game play video for Fregosi honored before Angels-Phillies game

ANAHEIM -- To understand Jim Fregosi's career in baseball, you only needed to look at his son before the Angels-Phillies game on Tuesday night.

On the night Angel Stadium hosted a tribute to his father's life, Jimmy Fregosi Jr. donned a white No. 11 Angels jersey -- one worn by his father first as an All-Star shortstop and later as the Angels skipper. But Fregosi Jr. also wore a 1993 Philadelphia National League championship ring, which his father won as the Phillies' manager.

"I want him to be remembered as not only a great player, but as a good manager and also he's brought respect to the scouting community," Fregosi Jr. said. "He lived all the different parts of baseball."

Fregosi, who was inducted into the Angels Hall of Fame in 1989 and whose number was retired by the franchise in '88, died in February due to complications from a stroke.

Fregosi played 18 seasons in the Major Leagues (mostly as a shortstop), racking up six All-Star appearances and one Gold Glove. He spent 11 of those seasons with the Angels.

In 15 seasons as a manager, Fregosi managed the Angels, White Sox, Phillies and Blue Jays.

Fregosi managed the Angels to their first division championship in 1979 and finished second in Manager of the Year voting that season. He posted a 237-248 record as Angels manager. With the Phillies, he was 431-463 with a World Series appearance in '93.

Before Tuesday's Interleague series opener, Fregosi and his family were honored with a two-minute video on the stadium scoreboard. The two teams lined the baselines and watched Fregosi Jr. throw a ceremonial first pitch to Bobby Knoop, Fregosi's double-play partner with the Angels.

"As a player, he was the benchmark of this organization," Knoop said. "A very, very kind man, a very respectful man. If he could do anything in the world to help you, he would do it. There's no question about that, without any fanfare or anything, he just did it because he was your friend."

Both clubs wore patches honoring Fregosi on their jerseys on Tuesday. The patch, which the teams will wear again on Wednesday, feature Fregosi's name and No. 11 with "1942-2014" stitched beneath.

A large No. 11 and "Fregosi" were also stenciled onto the Angel Stadium's grass in shallow center field.

Fregosi Jr. said the night was special not only because of the teams playing but also because of the location.

"This is where I grew up," he said. "The Angels are our hometown team when I grew up, this is where my dad played as a player. The Angels are my dad's team. It means a lot to us this night because he played here, he managed here and the whole thing is very special to us. It's like a homecoming for us.

"I thought it was going to be emotional for me, but it's not. It's happy and it's a great night."

Matthew DeFranks is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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