Former Chicago Cubs’ manager and general manager Jim Frey has passed away.
Frey was notably known for leading the Cubs to the postseason in 1984 after a 39-year drought. Breaking the drought led to him earning 1984 National League Manager Of The Year honors.
Frey managed a total of five seasons, two with the Kansas City Royals and three with the Cubs. He won a total of 323 games, including 96 in 1984 with the Cubs. As a manager for the Royals, he led them to their first American League pennant in 1980. They eventually lost in six games to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The following season ended his tenure with the Royals after a bad start to the 1981 campaign. Frey was let go due to his discipline styles with the players in the clubhouse. He was the hitting coach with the Mets for two seasons before he was hired to manage the Cubs before the 1984 season.
Unfortunately, we know what happened with the ’84 Cubs, and Frey was the odd man out after 56 games in the 1986 season after starting 23-33.
He eventually was hired as GM to replace Dallas Green, the man who hired him originally to manage years prior. He had no front office experience and it showed.
He’s known for trading Rafael Palmeiro and Lee Smith. Palmerio was traded famously for Mitch Williams and five other players. Fans still bark about the trade to this day. However, the trade did help the Cubs win a division title in 1989.
Palmerio went on to hit 544 home runs and receive MVP votes in ten different seasons with the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. That’s not exactly what the Cubs got in return for the slugger.
Frey was replaced in 1991 by Larry Himes.
Nonetheless, Frey will always be remembered for leading the 1984 Cubs to 96 wins and a near World Series birth.
The Cubs statement on the passing of Frey:
“The Chicago Cubs are saddened to learn of the passing of Jim Frey, a central figure in our club’s most memorable moments of the 1980s. Upon being named manager for the 1984 season, Jim took over a club that had not had a winning record since 1972 and immediately helped return the Cubs to post-season play, leading the team to the N.L. East title and first playoff appearance in 39 years, earning N.L. Manager of the Year honors along the way. As our general manager, he constructed a playoff club in 1989 to again land the Cubs in the postseason five years later.“
“We join the baseball community in mourning Jim’s passing and send our condolences to his family and friends.”
Frey was 88 years old.