Summing up Jim Fregosi’s life runs much deeper than his 18 seasons as an All-Star shortstop and 15 years as manager that included an unsuccessful but amusing three seasons with the White Sox.
“He was really larger than life,” said childhood friend and longtime baseball evaluator Gary Hughes after learning that Fregosi, 71, died Friday, according to multiple news reports, after suffering a stroke earlier this week during a cruise in the Caribbean.
Hughes, a special assistant with the Red Sox, knew Fregosi from more than just their days playing in a Babe Ruth League in Redwood City, Calif.
The affable and opinionated Fregosi touched many lives, from schoolmates that he would join for fishing expeditions in the Seattle area, to former teammates and executives, to concierge lounge workers at hotels that he would tip generously during scouting missions.
“He took care of a lot of people, and he never made a big deal about it,” Hughes said. “He was the life of the party. You never had to worry about what his opinion was.”