Former Dodger Lonny Frey Died at 99

Lonny Frey, who played with the Brooklyn Dodgers 1933-36, died September 13 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Frey played in the majors 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. He designed the first glove with a solid web between the thumb and the fingers.

Frey was the second oldest living Major League player, topped only by Tony Malinosky, who also played with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Originally a switch-hitter who began batting exclusively left-handed at the end of the 1938 season, e broke in with the Dodgers in 1933, after spending one season in the minor leagues, hitting .319 in 135 times at-bat, the highest average he would record over a 14-year major league career. He had averages of .284, 282 and .279 in his next three seasons in Brooklyn before being traded to the Chicago White Sox for Woody English and Roy Henshaw in December of 1936.

He would play for Cincinnati (1938-1943, 1946), Chicago Cubs (1937, 1947), NY Yankees (1947-1948), and NY Giants (1948) before ending his career in 1948. He was a three-time All-Star with the Cincinnati Reds in the 1930s and 1940s and a member of the club's Hall of Fame.

Frey was a member of Cincinnati's N.L. pennant winner in 1939 and World Series championship team in 1940, but missed the series against Detroit after dropping the iron lid of a water cooler on his foot late in the regular season. He also played with the Yankees in the 1947 season against the Dodgers. In 1940, he led the National League with 22 stolen bases.

Frey missed two seasons while serving in World War II and later played for the New York Yankees and New York Giants.

After 14 seasons in the major leagues, he finished his professional career with the Seattle Rainiers in 1950. He was also the oldest surviving Pacific Coast League baseball player and the last surviving player to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants and Yankees.

Over 6,402 major league games he had 1,482 hits, 263 doubles, 61 home runs and 549 runs batted in, finishing with a .269 average. He also had 559 hits in the minor leagues.

"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."

Tony Malinosky

The oldest player, Anthony Francis Malinosky, was born October 5, 1909 and will turn 100 on that date. He made his debut on April 26, 1937 and played his final game not quite three months later, April 26, 1937.

In his short, one-season career, Malinosky posted a .228 average (18-for-79) with two doubles, seven runs and three runs batted in over his 35 games. He currently lives in Oxnard, California.

The Dodgers top 10:

99 -- Inf Tony Malinosky, 10-05, 1909
97 -- OF George Cisar, 08-25, 1912
93 -- C Mike Sandlock, 10-17, 1915
92 -- C Ray Hathaway, 10-13, 1916
92 -- OF Tommy Holmes, 03-29, 1917

91 -- C Bobby Bragan, 10-30, 1917
90 -- RHP Roy Pfund, 10-10, 1918
90 -- OF-2B Luis Olmo, 08-11, 1919
90 -- RHP Cy Buker, 02-05, 1919
88 -- LHP John Schmitz, 11-27, 1920

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