The Obit For Lonny Frey

Former major-leaguer Lonny Frey dies

By Seattle Times
Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 2:24 PM

Lonny Frey, who played 14 seasons in the major leagues and three All-Star games, died Sunday in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Frey, who had been the oldest surviving Pacific Coast League baseball player, was 99.

Mr. Frey finished his professional career with the Seattle Rainiers in 1950, then moved his family from St. Louis to Seattle after that season. The family settled in Bellevue, then Mr. Frey and his wife Mary moved to Snohomish in the late 1960s.

When Mary Frey died in 1982, Mr. Frey moved to Coeur d'Alene.

"He was a warm, very down-to-earth guy," said Pacific Coast League historian Dave Eskenazi. "He shared a number of entertaining baseball anecdotes, mainly about his old teams and teammates. I remember him telling me that Ernie Lombardi hit the ball harder than anyone else he'd seen, and he'd seen them all.

"He was modest, but rightly proud of his terrific major-league career."

Mr. Frey played in the major leagues from 1933 through 1948, missing the 1944 and 1945 seasons while serving in World War II. He was a second baseman and shortstop who played in three World Series.

Mr. Frey began his major-league career with Brooklyn, playing four seasons for the Dodgers before he was traded to the Chicago Cubs.

After one season with the Cubs, he was purchased by Cincinnati. Mr. Frey played seven seasons for the Reds, and was an All-Star in 1939, 1941 and 1943. The Reds played in the World Series in 1939 and 1940. He is a member of the Reds' Hall of Fame.

Mr. Frey split the 1947 season between the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees, playing in the World Series with the Yankees. He played for the Yankees and the New York Giants in 1948, his last season in the majors. Mr. Frey was the last surviving player to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants and Yankees.

Mr. Frey, originally a switch-hitter who began batting exclusively left-handed at the end of the 1938 season, was a .269 career hitter, with 61 home runs. In 1940, he led the National League with 22 stolen bases.

After one season with the Buffalo Bisons of the Class AAA International League, Mr. Frey played the 1950 season for the Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League. Playing third base for the Rainiers, he hit .267 with two home runs.

In 2000, on his 90th birthday, Mr. Frey threw out the first pitch of a Mariners game against the Yankees.

A memorial Mass is scheduled for 4 p.m. Monday at Sacred Heart Church in Bellevue.

Linus R. "Lonny" Frey
1910 - 2009

Published in The Seattle Times from September 16 to September 17, 2009

Linus "Lonny" Frey passed peacefully into the arms of the Lord on Sunday, September 13, 2009, in Coeur D' Alene, ID.

Lonny was born August 23, 1910, to Frank and Louise Frey in St. Louis MO. He was married to his loving wife, Mary Ann Albrecht in 1935 until her passing in 1982. Lonny, also known as Grand Faz, to most of his large family, will be truly missed. The life he lived was great and bountiful.

His chosen profession, as a major league baseball player, started in the early 1930's and lasted until 1949. The stories he told about those times were wonderful.

His career in baseball started in 1932 with the AAA "Honeydews" in the Carolina league. From there it was on to the Brooklyn Dodgers, and he never looked back. During his seventeen years of major league professional baseball, he participated in the '39, '41 '43 All-Star Games.

He also played in three different World Series, Cincinnati Reds '39 and '40 and with the New York Yankees,'47. In 1961 Lonny was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Baseball Hall of Fame. Lonny was the last surviving player to play for the big three, New York's Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants and New York Yankees.
In 1950 he finished his professional career with the AAA Seattle Rainiers.

In the Fall of 1950 Lonny and Mary found the Northwest too irresistible and moved the family from St. Louis to Seattle and later settled in Bellevue to raise their three sons. The family memories that grew from these years, and the friends that were made, will forever be remembered.

Even though he and his wife moved to Snohomish in the late '60s, they still had deep roots in the Eastside. In August of 2000 on his 90th birthday, Lonny was honored by throwing the first pitch at the Mariners game against the New York Yankees while all of his large family and friends looked on.

After the death of his wife Mary, in 1982, Lonny moved to Coeur D'Alene, ID, where he remained active, living independently, riding his bike on all the trails, and taking long walks into his 97th year. His long discussions, of how The Game was played in his day and who the Mariners should or shouldn't keep, were always entertaining. He so enjoyed all of the baseball fans who frequently requested his autographs on pictures, baseballs, and cards.

Lonny is preceded in death by his loving wife, Mary, and their two sons, Anthony and Gerald; and his brothers Norbert and Lewis.

He is survived by his sons, Thomas Frey (Margaret Ann) and Michael Frey (Joan); grandchildren, Tommy Frey (Stacey), Matthew Frey, Mary Margaret (Michael) Davis, Kevin Frey, and Megan (Martin) Doern; nine great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He will be greatly missed by all of us. A Memorial Mass will be offered in celebration of his life at Sacred Heart Church in Bellevue, WA, on September 21, 2009, at 4:00 pm.

The Frey Family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the staff at the Loyalton Retirement and Assisted Living Center, Coeur D'Alene, ID.

We especially want to thank all of the care providers at Applegate Hospice, Hayden, ID, for the support that they gave Lonny in his last months.