Tito Francona, father of Indians manager Terry, dies at 84 years old
Tito was an All-Star outfielder for the Tribe in 1961 as well
Tito Francona, former MLB All-Star, died on Wednesday morning, the Indians have announced. Francona was 84 years old.
The prime of Francona's career came with the Indians. He joined the club in 1959, hitting .363/.414/.566 and finishing fifth in MVP voting. In 1960, he led the AL with 36 doubles and in 1961 made his first and only All-Star team. In 15 years, six of which came with the Indians, Francona hit .272 with a 107 OPS+, 224 doubles, 125 homers and 46 steals.
Francona also had stints with the Braves, Cardinals, Athletics, Orioles, Phillies, Tigers, Brewers and White Sox. His best year outside Cleveland came in 1956, when he finished second in AL Rookie of the Year voting to future Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio.
In his later years, Francona would become more known for his son, Terry. Terry -- who goes by the nickname "Tito" -- played in parts of 10 MLB seasons, but it's as a manager that the younger Tito is likely to be someday a Hall of Famer. He's won three AL pennants, most recently with the 2016 Indians, and two World Series. He was the manager for the 2004 Red Sox's famous "curse" breaking victory that included coming back from a 3-0 series deficit to the Yankees in the ALCS.
Here is Tito throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 1 of the 2016 ALDS against the Red Sox:
The elder Tito lost his first wife, Roberta, to breast cancer in 1992. He remarried and is survived by his second wife, Jean.
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