- 3B, DH, SS, 1B
- March 25, 1969
- 6' 1"
- 180 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 7-07-1990 with DET
- Allstar Selections:
- 1992 SS, 2000 GG
The Detroit Tigers drafted Fryman in the first round of the 1987 Major League Baseball Draft out of Tate High School in Pensacola, Florida. He debuted with the Tigers at Tiger Stadium on July 7, 1990 in a 4-0 loss to the Kansas City Royals at short, but ended up seeing more time at third over the course of his first season in the majors.
He split time between short and third in 1991his first full season, he ripped 21 home runs and drove in 91 runs for Detroit, becoming at age 22 the youngest Tiger to top the 20/90 marks since a 20-year-old Al Kaline had done so in 1955.
An injury to Alan Trammell allowed him to inherit the starting shortstop job in 1992. He clubbed twenty home runs and drove in 96 to earn his first All-Star selection, and win the American League Silver Slugger Award at his position.
Fryman started the 1993 at short, but earned the third base job by the end of the season. He remained at third for Detroit until
Although the Tigers shuttled him back and forth between shortstop and third base for parts of four years, Fryman was always right at home in the batter’s box. He became one of the few bright spots on a franchise stuck in decline.
After eight long but productive seasons with the Detroit Tigers, Fryman finally got a chance to play for a contender when he took over at third base for the Indians in 1998.
Following the 1997 season Fryman was traded twice in a span of two weeks, first heading to the nascent Arizona franchise shortly after the expansion draft, and then getting dealt to Cleveland in exchange for third baseman Matt Williams. While stuck in an early season slump, Fryman ruffled a few feathers among the Indians’ veterans by saying that the club lacked leadership. “I was trained for that in Detroit,” he said afterwards. “The veterans on the club and Sparky Anderson told me when certain guys were gone, it was going to be my team. And that’s what happened when Alan Trammell retired. Coming over here, it was a little different. You have to earn that right. You have to build relationships and earn the respect of your teammates.” Fryman recovered from his early struggles to bat .287 with 96 RBI and a career-high 28 home runs, helping the Indians to their fourth-straight AL Central title and reaching the post-season for the first time in his career.
Fryman wound up on the disabled list twice during the 1999 season, the first time due to chronic back problems that stemmed from a high school football injury when he was 15. He later missed nearly two full months after tearing ligaments in his right knee, but managed to recover in time for the playoffs.
He rebounded to have his best season in 2000. He established career highs in batting average (.321), slugging percentage (.516), on base percentage (.392), hits (184), doubles, and RBIs (106). Additionally, he also only made eight errors in the field and had a 60-game errorless streak, on his way to winning a Gold Glove Award. His teammates rewarded his efforts with the Gordon Cobbledick Golden Tomahawk Award, and the Cleveland Baseball Writers' Association named him their Man of the Year.
Injuries once again limited Fryman in 2001, as he didn't even make his first major league appearance until June 2. In 2002, he had the lowest range factor of all major league third basemen (2.31), as well as the lowest zone rating (.680).
In a 13-season career, Fryman posted a .274 batting average with 223 home runs and 1022 RBI in 1698 games. Fryman retired after the 2002 season due to injury.
During the offseason, Fryman keeps himself busy hunting with a bow and arrow. “My buddies and I hunt wild hogs near my home in Florida, or we look for deer in Alabama,” he says of his archery avocation. “Sometimes I’ll shoot down in the basement of where I live in Cleveland. Sometimes in the second half of the season I’ll take my bow on road trips. I’ll practice drawing in my room. It’s a good little exercise. Keeps your muscles in shape.”
Fryman became the manager of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, the short-season A affiliate of the Indians in the New York-Penn League, in 2008. It was his managerial debut after having worked as an infield instructor with the Indians during spring training that year. Fryman has been mentioned as a possible manager for the Cleveland Indians. David Wallace became the team's manager in 2011.
Currently Travis is a hitting instructor for the Cleveland Indians farm system, travelling to all of the Indians' AAA, AA, and A Minor League teams.
Fryman has three children, Mason, Branden, and Cole
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- Travis Fryman