Eugene Lewis Freese January 8, 1934 – June 18, 2013 was a third baseman in American Major League Baseball for 12 seasons 1955–1966 A journeyman, he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates twice, St Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox twice, Cincinnati Reds and Houston Astros, batting 254 in 1,115 games Listed as 5 feet 11 inches 180 m tall and 175 pounds 79 kg, he batted and threw right-handed He was nicknamed "Augie" as a Pirate rookie in 1955 by teammates after umpire Augie Donatelli, who was calling balls and strikes in Freese's first MLB game
Freese was a native of Wheeling, West Virginia He signed with the Pirates in 1953 and played for 17 seasons in professional baseball
Despite his well-traveled resume, Freese was an important cog on the 1961 National League champion Reds Acquired in an off-season interleague deal with the White Sox, Freese reached career highs in home runs 26 and RBI 87 and played 151 games at third base as Cincinnati won its first pennant since 1940 In the 1961 World Series, won by the New York Yankees in five games, Freese batted only 063 1-for-16 and was the victim of one of two spectacular defensive plays by his third-base counterpart, Clete Boyer, in the Series opener
The following year, Freese broke an ankle during a spring training intrasquad game and missed almost the entire 1962 season He never regained his 1961 form, although he stayed in the Majors through 1966 His 877 MLB hits included 161 doubles, 28 triples and 115 home runs He led National League third basemen in errors in 1957 and 1959
Gene Freese died on June 18, 2013 His older brother, George, briefly played Major League Baseball and was a longtime scout and minor league manager
- ^ Freese sidelined by broken ankle
- ^ Former New Orleans baseball player Gene Freese dies at age 79
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
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