Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday School: History Lesson 38

Bernie Friberg was an infielder for the Phillies from 1925-1932. Friberg drove in more than 80 runs twice for the Cubs before coming to Philadelphia in 1925.

Friberg's positional versatility kept him active. In 1925, he played all 4 infield positions, the outfield, caught a game and even pitched for the Phillies. In 1926, Friberg spent the entire season at second base, playing 144 games there, but over the next few seasons, he mixed it up all over the infield and played outfield some more. Friberg would fill in where ever he was needed. Phillies manager Burt Shotton called Friberg, "the most valuable man on our team." In 1929, Friberg received some consideration for the league MVP award, finishing 18th in the voting.

Offensively, Friberg never became a huge run producer. His best season at the plate was 1929, when hit 7 homers, drove in 55 and had an OPS of .808. In 8 years with the Phillies, Friberg was a .274 hitter in 795 games played. In 1926, Friberg led the National League in strikeouts, with 77.

By 1932 the team had completed an overhaul of the infield and Friberg's playing time dwindled down. He was released by the Phillies in the 1932-1933 offseason, and was then signed by the Red Sox. In 17 games with Boston, Friberg batted .317 while seeing time at second, shortstop and third base. Friberg would play one more season in the minor leagues before retiring from baseball.

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