Fat Freddie Fitzsimmons “was from the old school,” wrote Joe McGuff. “He knocked down line drives with his feet and legs, challenged batters and umpires and withstood the verbal explosions of John McGraw, the terrible-tempered manager of the New York Giants.” The knuckle-curveballer led the NL with a .731 (19-7) winning percentage for the 1930 Giants. He again topped the league (and set a Dodger record) with an .889 (16-2) percentage in 1940.
As manager from mid-1943 to mid-1945, Fitzsimmons’s Phillies were a flop. His TSN obit recalled that “he was one of the principals in the great tampering uproar in 1949 when he was a coach for the Giants and his old pal, Leo Durocher. The Braves claimed tampering, because the discussion of the Giants’ job occurred while Fitzsimmons was still under contract to the Braves.” Fitzsimmons and Durocher were fined by Commissioner Happy Chandler, who also suspended Fitzsimmons for a month. Fitzsimmons spent three years as GM of the National Football League Brooklyn Dodgers.