Tito Francona - Terry Francona's father - dies at age 84


In 2017, Francona and the Indians launched Tito Francona And Son Pasta Sauce, from which a portion of proceeds were donated to the Cleveland Indians Charities.

Francona played 15 seasons in the major leagues, mostly with the Indians, and compiled 1,395 hits, 125 homers, 656 RBIs and a.272/.343/.403 slash line.

Former major leaguer John "Tito" Francona waits for the start of a game between the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians, July 24, 2007 in Cleveland.

Mr. Francona's best year was his first with the Indians, in 1959 after arriving there in a trade with the Detroit Tigers for outfielder Larry Doby, who had broken the color barrier in the American League. Francona played for Cleveland for six seasons.

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"Our thoughts are with the entire Francona family during this time", the Indians said on Twitter. Having Terry here for the last five years, one of the most meaningful things for me was to get to know his dad and build a friendship with him.

Often, the elder Francona would attend Indians games and sit on a stool in the clubhouse hallway before games and greet players and reporters.

Francona, who also played some first base, also spent brief stints with the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland A's, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago White Sox, before retiring following the 1970 season. In 1960, he led the AL with 36 doubles and in 1961 made his first and only All-Star team. Funds will be directed to youth baseball-oriented programs in both Cleveland and New Brighton.

In retirement Francona was the parks and recreation director in Beaver County, Pa.