Happy Birthday, Travis Fryman

The five-time All Star turns 40 today.

Fryman, the Tigers’ first-round selection (#30) in the 1987 draft, spent parts of the first eight seasons of his 13-year career in Detroit and with some sorry teams. In his seven full seasons, he hit .272 and averaged 20 homers and 93 RBI — and wore #24.

On Nov. 18, 1997, GM Randy Smith sent Fryman to the Diamondbacks for Gabe Alvarez, Joe Randa and minor leaguer Matt Drews. Two weeks later, the D-backs dealt Fryman, Tom Martin and cash to the Indians for Matt Williams. Go figure.

Fryman played five seasons in Cleveland, highlighted by his 2000 campaign: .321 – 22 HR – 106 RBI. Two years later — his last in the bigs — at the age of 33, he cratered and hit .217, with 11 homers and 55 RBI.

(Aside: I remember when he visited Comerica Park the first time as a member of the Indians and he essentially said the park was okay but had too many Tigers around the exterior. He might be right, but at the time, man, I was indignant!)

Today, Travis Fryman is the manager of the Indians’ Class A Mahoning Valley (Ohio) Scrappers in the New York-Penn League. He debuted with the Scrappers last season. (Do yourself a favor and check out what the Scrappers have in store for their fans on July 18. Sweet mercy.)

In case you were wondering, Baseball-Reference.com estimates that Fryman made more than $47 million in his career. Chances are, those earnings are helping make it a happy birthday.

At least we hope so.

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