CLEARWATER, FLA. - They came to praise Jim Fregosi.
They came to say goodbye to their old pal, tell stories and share some laughs.
“There is closure now,” said Buck Rodgers.
Rodgers came to Wednesday’s celebration of life for the late Fregosi as did hundreds of other baseball people, who came across the man during Fregosi’s 53 years in the game.
Fregosi died Feb. 14 in Miami after suffering a stroke while on a Major League Baseball alumni cruise.
“He’d see me coming,” Rodgers recalled, “and say loud enough for the next area code to hear: ‘Buck Rodgers, the most overrated catcher in history. If you could throw, we’d have won a few games. Then he became the most overrated manager.’
“Then he’d stick out his hand and say: ‘How are you, buddy?’
“You know, right now Jimmy is on a soap box looking down and saying: ‘These are the only people you could find?”