All-Time Indians: Travis Fryman

Name: David Travis Fryman             Position: Third Base
Tribe Time: 1998-2002                 Number: 17  
Accolades: 2000 All-Star, 2000 Gold Glove, Top 20 MVP (1998,2000) DOB: 03/25/1969
Stats G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB CS SB% OBP SLG AVG OPS
Best Season (2000) 155 574 93 184 38 4 22 106 296 73 111 1 1 50% .392 .516 .321 .908
Career 602 2184 288 600 116 11 74 343 960 212 438 14 12 54% .339 .440 .275 .779
Post Season Career 20 68 9 13 2 0 1 6 18 9 18 3 1 75% .300 .265 .191 .565

In the year 2000, Travis Fryman helped the Indians do something they never had accomplished before and something that had not been done in the American League since Bobby Grich, Brooks Robinson and Mark Belanger did it from 1973 through 1975. Along with Omar Vizquel and Roberto Alomar, the Indians won the Gold Glove for second, short stop and third base. This is especially impressive as each of these players are the only one in franchise history to win a Gold Glove at their position.

Fryman played the first half of his career for the Tigers, from 1990 through 1997, after being drafted by Detroit in the first round of 1987. This was terrible timing, as the Tigers were entering into more than a decade of futility and despite four All-Star appearances and a Silver Slugger, he never came close to the play-offs and never would as long as he stayed in Detroit.

In the off-season between 1997 and 1998, two new franchises were created, the Diamondbacks and Devil Rays and the Tigers shipped Fryman off to Phoenix in exchange for Gabe Alvarez and Joe Randa. The D-Backs then immediately flipped Fryman to the Indians less than a month later in exchange for power hitting third baseman, Matt Williams. Interestingly enough, both players were veterans joining their last team, and both players would make the play-offs multiple times in the next few years.

In his first season, 1998, Fryman had a career year. At 29 years old, he hit a career high 28 home runs and batted .287, earning him two MVP vote points (four other Indians received votes that year as well). After playing on very poor teams his entire career, Fryman was finally in the perfect position where he didn't need to be a run producer, protected in the lineup by Manny Ramirez, David Justice and Jim Thome. While his numbers were impressive, they didn't really stand out on a team that saw Ramirez hit 45 home runs and knock in 145. In his first play-off appearance, Fryman looked like someone who hadn't been there before. He went just 6/36 against Boston and New York before the Indians ultimately lost in the ALCS against the Yankees.

The following season, Fryman missed half the year due to injury, but still hit 10 home runs and had the best play-off series of his career that included four RBI and a .267 average against the Red Sox. Everything to this point had just been leading up to his peak, an amazing 2000 season. In addition to the already mentioned Gold Glove, Fryman set career highs in RBI (106) and average (.321). This time, he was an offensive leader, coming in second on the team in both these stats, but it wasn't quite enough as the Indians missed the play-offs for the first time since 1993.

Fryman's peak came and went very quickly. After his tremendous 2000, he missed much of 2001, hitting just three home runs while batting just .263. The Indians made the play-offs that year, but Fryman's contribution was more like 1998 than 1999. The next season was his final one, but wasn't much better than 2001. He batted just .217 through 118 games, although he did hit 11 home runs, bumping his career total to 223.

Despite just four seasons with the Tribe, Fryman is easily one of the top ten Indians third basemen in franchise history with 343 RBI and a .779 career OPS in Cleveland, despite his poor two final seasons being with the team. After retiring in 2002, Fryman spent a few years away from baseball before coming back to Cleveland. In 2008, he joined the Indians as a special infield instructor before becoming the manager for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. Currently, he remains with the team in a different role. Fryman is now the hitting instructor for the entire Indians minor league system.

Joseph Coblitz

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since it's inception in 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona the Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians.

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