Terry Francona lost his father Wednesday, and the baseball community lost a beloved figure.
John Patsy “Tito” Francona died Wednesday morning at his home in New Brighton, Pa., the Cleveland Indians confirmed. He was 84.
Tito Francona is best known these days through the legacy of his son, Terry, who has carved out a successful managing career by guiding the Boston Red Sox to two World Series titles in 2004 and 2007 and winning Manager of the Year awards with the Indians in 2013 and 2016.
Tito was an impressive figure in his own right, though. After playing for three different teams during his first three major league seasons, the Aliquippa, Pa., native found success in Cleveland after joining the club in a 1959 trade that sent eventual Baseball Hall of Famer Larry Doby to the Chicago White Sox. Tito posted a career-high .363 batting average that season while platooning as an outfielder and first baseman, then earned an All-Star nod two seasons later in 1961.
He retired following the 1970 season with 1,114 hits over a 15-year major league career.
Many reached out on Twitter to express their condolences over Francona’s passing.
Thumbnail photo via David Richard/USA TODAY Sports Images
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