Bridgewater, NJ – The Somerset Patriots join the entire baseball community in mourning the loss of Jim Frey, who passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by family on Sunday, April 12th at the age of 88.
Frey was instrumental in the creation of the Somerset Patriots and held the position of Vice Chairman in the early days of the franchise.
“Jim will be greatly missed and we send our love to the entire Frey family,” said Somerset Patriots Chairman Emeritus Steve Kalafer. “Jim had countless contributions to the Somerset Patriots as one of our first supporters over two decades ago. We wouldn’t be who we are as an organization without his guidance early on. Not only was he a friend to our team, he was more importantly, a friend to me, Suzanne, and Jonathan and Josh. We will do whatever we can to honor him at the ballpark this season and beyond.”
Frey later transitioned into an advisory role for the team and served as an Honorary Manager at the 2008 Atlantic League All-Star Game hosted at TD Bank Ballpark.
He was also Somerset Patriots Manager Emeritus Sparky Lyle’s first professional baseball manager when he was coming up in the Baltimore Orioles organization.
“Jim was a great baseball mind and the person who gave me my first chance in the game,” Lyle remembered. “He saw the opportunity for me to be a relief pitcher back then and set me on that path. We remained good friends all this time. It’s very sad to hear of his passing. Mary and I send our thoughts and prayers to the Frey family during this difficult time.”
Frey was a former Major League manager with the Kansas City Royals and the Chicago Cubs. He compiled a record of 323-287 as a manager and led the Royals to the World Series in 1980 and the Cubs to the 1984 National League East Division Championship. Frey was named Manager of the Year in 1984.
He later became the Cubs General Manager and was the architect of their 1989 National League East Division Championship team.
Frey is survived by his beloved wife of 68 years Joan, his son James, three daughters; Cindy, Mary, and Jennifer, as well as six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.