Former Kansas City Royals and Chicago Cubs manager — and former Chicago Cubs general manager — Jim Frey died Sunday at age 88. No cause of death was announced.
Frey spent 14 seasons in the minor league organizations of the Braves and Cardinals, though he did not reach the majors. After his playing career ended he scouted and managed in the minor leagues for Baltimore, becoming a big league coach under Orioles manager Earl Weaver in 1970 and remaining in that role throughout the 1970s.
Frey was hired to replace Whitey Herzog as the manager of the Royals before the 1980 season and led the Royals to the AL Pennant in his first season, losing in the World Series to the Philadelphia Phillies. He was fired in 1981, after which he coached for the New York Mets in 1982 and 1983.
The Cubs hired Frey for the 1984 season and, once again, his first campaign in the top job was his best, leading the Cubs to first place in the NL East and winning the 1984 Manager of the Year Award. The Cubs fired him in 1986, but he took over as general manager in 1987. There he made a number of notable, but ultimately misguided, signings and trades, including inking George Bell, Danny Jackson, and Dave Smith to big free agent deals that didn’t really work out and trading away Lee Smith, Rafael Palmeiro, and Jamie Moyer. The Cubs won the division again in 1989, but the long term success of the club was hobbled by many of Frey’s moves and he was fired in 1991.
His overall record as a manager: 323-287.