Frey’s history is alive Cooperstown
By Craig Muder
The black and white photograph speaks of another time, before televised games, multiyear contracts and franchises west of the Mississippi.
And yet the man in that photograph, Lonny Frey, lived to see all of those — and more. His memory lives on in Cooperstown.
Frey, an infielder for the Dodgers, Cubs, Reds, Yankees and Giants, died Sunday at the age of 99 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. He was the second-oldest living ex-major leaguer behind only Tony Malinosky, who will turn 100 in 17 days.
Ironically, Frey’s trade from the Dodgers to the Cubs following the 1936 season helped open an infield spot in Brooklyn for Malinosky, who appeared in all of his 35 major league games with the Dodgers in 1937.
Frey, meanwhile, spent 14 seasons in the big leagues and was named to the All-Star team in 1939, 1941 and 1943. He was the oldest living World Series veteran, having appeared in the 1939 and 1940 Fall Classic with the Reds and the 1947 World Series with the Yankees. That title now falls to former Yankee Tommy Henrich.
Frey was also the last surviving player to have suited up for the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants and New York Yankees.
Several photos of Frey are housed in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s collection, which contains more than half a million photographs. Among the Museum’s 35,000 three-dimensional artifacts is a ball Frey signed — along with several other players like Hall of Famers Ernie Lombardi, Gabby Hartnett, Joe Medwick, Bill Terry and Billy Herman — during an old-timers reunion in the 1960s.
It is all a part of the Museum’s charge to preserve baseball history for generations to come — history that lives on in Cooperstown.
Craig Muder is director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.