Terry Francona

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Terry Francona
Terry Francona on June 26, 2013.jpg
Francona with the Cleveland Indians
Cleveland Indians – No. 17
First baseman / Outfielder / Manager
Born: (1959-04-22) April 22, 1959 (age 61)
Aberdeen, South Dakota
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
August 19, 1981, for the Montreal Expos
Last MLB appearance
April 19, 1990, for the Milwaukee Brewers
MLB statistics
(through 2015 season)
Batting average .274
Home runs 16
Runs batted in 143
Games managed 2,429
Win–Loss record 1,287–1,142
Winning % .530
As player

As manager

As coach

Career highlights and awards
Terry Francona
Medal record
Representing the  United States
Amateur World Series
Silver medal – second place 1978 Italy Team

Terrence Jonathon "Terry" Francona (born April 22, 1959), nicknamed "Tito", is the current manager of the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball. He was a first baseman and outfielder in the majors from 1981 to 1990. After retiring as a player, he managed several minor league teams in the 1990s before managing the Philadelphia Phillies for four seasons. In 2004, Francona was hired to manage the Boston Red Sox, and that year he led the team to its first World Series championship since 1918. He won another World Series with Boston in 2007 and continued to manage the team until the end of the 2011 season. In 2013, Francona was hired to manage the Cleveland Indians. That year, the Indians won 92 games and lost to the Tampa Bay Rays in the Wild Card game.

As a player


Francona grew up in New Brighton, Pennsylvania, about 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Pittsburgh, where he got his start in baseball at High School.[1][2] His father is Tito Francona, who played in the majors from 1956 to 1970,[3] and whose career is highlighted in the book "Portrait of a Franchise: An Intimate Look at Cleveland Indians Baseball During the Rockin' Sixties" by Doug Kurkul. Francona is of Italian ancestry.

Early career

Francona attended the University of Arizona, where he played college baseball for the Arizona Wildcats baseball team. Francona and the Arizona Wildcats won the 1980 College World Series[4] and Francona was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.[5] Francona won the 1980 Golden Spikes Award.[6]

Francona was drafted in the first round of the 1980 amateur draft by the Montreal Expos, using the 22nd overall selection. After briefly playing in the minor leagues, Francona made his major league debut with Montreal on August 19, 1981, a week after the end of that summer's player strike. He appeared mainly as an outfielder that first year, and he went 4-for-12 in the National League Division Series against the Philadelphia Phillies, an extra playoff round utilized that year because the season was conducted in two halves as the result of the strike. The Expos won that series, three games to two.

First base

As the seasons went on, Francona shifted to first base, where he ultimately played one hundred games more than he had in the outfield. He also developed a reputation as a contact hitter, with very few home runs, walks, or strikeouts.

Journeyman years

The Expos released Francona after the 1985 season, during which his batting average had slipped to .267 after posting a .346 average in limited action in 1984. He went on to sign one-year contracts with the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, and Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers re-signed Francona for 1990, but he only played in three games for the Brewers that year, the last on April 19. In 10 seasons and 708 games, he posted a .274 career average, with 16 home runs and 143 RBIs. He also made an appearance as a pitcher with Milwaukee on May 15, 1989, throwing 12 pitches and striking out one batter (Stan Javier) on three pitches.[7]

As a coach and manager

Minor League coaching career

After retiring as a player, Francona began coaching, spending several years in the Chicago White Sox organization. In 1991, he managed the rookie league Sarasota White Sox of the Gulf Coast League. In 1992, he ran the South Bend White Sox of the mid-level Class A Midwest League. As manager of the AA franchise Birmingham Barons in 1993–95, he posted a 223-203 record and won two distinctions: Southern League Manager of the Year in 1993, Baseball America's Minor League Manager of the Year in 1993, and top managerial candidate by Baseball America in 1994, the same year Michael Jordan played for Birmingham. Birmingham won the Southern League championship in 1993.

He managed in the Dominican Winter League with the Águilas Cibaeñas, and he also won the championship and the Serie del Caribe in 1995–96. That team included Miguel Tejada, Manny Ramirez, and Tony Batista.

Major League coaching career

Early career

Francona became third-base coach for the Detroit Tigers in 1996, working under their new skipper, Buddy Bell, a former teammate of Francona on the Reds. After the season ended, he was hired as manager of the Phillies, who had won the NL pennant in 1993 but then had three consecutive losing seasons. In Francona's four seasons (1997 through 2000) as the Phils' skipper, the club never rose above third place in the National League East. His best finish with the Phillies was 77–85 in 1999. In 1998 and 1999, the Phillies finished in third place, behind the Atlanta Braves and their division-rival New York Mets.

He was fired following the 2000 campaign. He finished with a 285–363 record.[8] He spent the following season as a special assistant to the general manager with the Cleveland Indians in (2001), which was followed by two one-year terms as a bench coach for the Texas Rangers (2002) and Oakland Athletics (2003).

Red Sox manager

Francona as a manager for the Boston Red Sox in 2011

The Red Sox hired Francona to manage their club in 2004, after Grady Little's contract was not renewed following the Red Sox loss in the 2003 American League Championship Series.

Francona led the Red Sox to a 98–64 record in 2004, the second-best record in the American League behind their biggest rival, the New York Yankees. The club gelled in the second half and won more games than any other team in the American League after the All-Star break.

As the American League wild card, the Red Sox swept the AL West champion Anaheim Angels, three games to none, in the Division Series. In the 2004 American League Championship Series, the Red Sox fell behind the Yankees, three games to none, including a 19–8 loss in Game 3 at home in Fenway Park. However, the club regained its composure and won the last four games of the series, the first time in Major League Baseball history that a team rallied from an 0–3 deficit to win a playoff series (only the third team to even make it as far as Game 6, and the only team to even force a Game 7 after trailing a series three games to zero). The Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals 4–0 in the 2004 World Series. The long awaited victory ended 86 years of frustration for Red Sox fans. It was the sixth title in franchise history.

During the 2005 season, Francona was hospitalized after complaining of severe chest pains. Tests revealed significantly clogged arteries, but it was concluded that Francona had not suffered a heart attack. This incident, as well as a life-threatening pulmonary embolism suffered in 2002, painful knees, and ongoing treatment for blood clots, has led to circulation issues which necessitate wearing extra clothes, including two pairs of tights. This is also why his regular uniform top is usually hidden by a pullover.[9][10]

Two years later, the Sox won the AL East Division, finishing two games ahead of the Yankees. Under Francona's leadership, the Sox swept the Angels in the Division Series before dropping three of the first four games to the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS. The Sox, facing elimination, went on to win their next three games, defeating Cleveland to advance to the 2007 World Series, where they swept the Colorado Rockies in four games. Terry Francona is the only manager in Major League history to win his first eight consecutive World Series games and just the second manager to guide two Red Sox clubs to World Series titles, the other being Bill "Rough" Carrigan who led Boston to back-to-back championships in 1915 and 1916.

As of October 1, 2008, Francona's career regular-season managerial record was 755–703 (.518), while his post-season record was 22–9 (.710). Among managers who have managed at least 20 post-season games, he has the highest winning percentage. Francona was 7–0 in playoff elimination games until Game 5 of the 2005 ALDS, against the Chicago White Sox, when he became 6–1 and 9–0 in ALCS elimination games until Game 7 of the 2008 ALCS, against the Tampa Bay Rays, when he became 9–1.

On February 24, 2008, the Red Sox announced that they had extended Francona's contract. Instead of expiring at the end of the 2008 season, it would expire after the 2011 season. The team also held club options for 2012 and 2013.[11] Francona was guaranteed a total of $12 million over the first three years of the contract, plus a $750,000 buyout to be received if his 2012 and 2013 options were not exercised.[12]

On June 2, 2009, Francona recorded his 500th win as manager of the Red Sox, making him the third manager in club history to have 500 wins. The only other two to win at least 500 games as manager of the Red Sox are Joe Cronin (1,071), and Mike Higgins (560).[13] On May 6, 2010, Francona became the fourth person to manage 1,000 games for the Red Sox.

On July 23, 2011, Francona got his 1,000th win as a manager. He became only the second manager in Red Sox history (after Joe Cronin) to accomplish this feat. Later that season, he presided over one of the worst collapses in the history of Major League Baseball when the Red Sox went 7-20 for the month of September and squandered a nine-game lead over the Rays for the AL Wild Card spot in the postseason. Following the season, the Red Sox declined to exercise Francona's 2012 option.[14][15] He finished his Red Sox career as a 744–552 regular season record and a 28–17 post–season which included two World Series Championships.[8]

Indians manager

Francona was hired as manager of the Cleveland Indians on October 6, 2012, and officially introduced on October 8. The Indians chose Francona over Sandy Alomar Jr., who had served as the club's interim manager for the final six games of the 2012 season after Manny Acta was fired on September 27. Francona and Alomar, who had spent the past three seasons as a coach in Cleveland, were the only candidates interviewed for the Indians' opening.[16][17][18] Alomar stayed in Cleveland in Francona's staff as the bench coach. Under Francona, the Cleveland Indians finished the 2013 regular season with a record of 92-70, which was a 24-game improvement over the previous year. The Indians were eliminated from the 2013 MLB playoffs by losing 4-0 to the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Wild Card Game. The Indians managed to get nine hits, but no runs off Rays pitcher Alex Cobb.[19] On November 12, 2013, Terry Francona was named as the American League Manager of the Year. Francona agreed to a two-year extension on November 4, 2014. He has led the team to a 177-147 record since 2013.[20]

Managerial record

As of October 2, 2015
Team From To Regular season record Post–season record
W L Win % W L Win %
Philadelphia Phillies 1997 2000 285 363 .440
Boston Red Sox 2004 2011 744 552 .574 28 17 .622
Cleveland Indians 2013 Present 258 227 .532 0 1 .000
Total 1287 1142 .530 28 18 .609


Following his departure from the Red Sox in 2011, Francona was employed by the Fox network as a substitute color analyst for the first two games of the American League Championship Series. Francona, who teamed with play-by-play announcer Joe Buck, filled in for regular Fox analyst Tim McCarver, who was recuperating from minor heart surgery.[21] On December 5, 2011, Francona signed with ESPN joining their Sunday Night Baseball telecast, replacing Bobby Valentine, who himself replaced Francona as manager of the Red Sox. During the 2012 season, he worked as an analyst on Sunday Night Baseball, contributed to ESPN.com, and contributed to ESPN's Little League World Series coverage. Francona dearly thanked ESPN as he left for the job as Cleveland Indians manager.[22]

Since becoming the manager of the Indians, Francona's former ESPN Sunday Night Baseball colleagues have referred to the Indians as the "Fighting Franconas."


Francona married Jacque Lang on January 9, 1982,[23] and they have four children: son Nicholas, and daughters Alyssa, Leah, and Jamie. Nick played collegiate baseball for the University of Pennsylvania[24] and for a time in the Cape Cod Baseball League. He was a lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.[25] Alyssa and Leah played on the University of North Carolina softball team.[26][27] In 2009, Alyssa was a senior and Leah was a freshman on the team. Jamie currently attends the United States Naval Academy. It was revealed in October 2011 that Francona and Lang had recently separated and that Francona had been living in a hotel room during the baseball season.[28] Francona later admitted that he and Lang were in the final stages of divorcing.[29] He is known for his ever-present wad of chaw.[30] Francona and Indian's third base coach Brad Mills have been best friends since their college playing days and have coached together on the Phillies, Red Sox and Indians.

See also


  1. Davis, Elliott (June 25, 2011). "New Brighton, Pa., Native Terry Francona Managing in Pittsburgh for First Time Since 2000". NESN.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Golen, Jimmy (December 4, 2003). "New Brighton's Terry Francona to be named manager of the Red Sox". Beaver County Times (The Associated Press).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Tito Francona Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
  4. College World Series History (through 2011 CWS)
  5. Athletics Facts - Arizona Wildcats Official Site[dead link]
  6. "Shocks' Dreifort chosen for Golden Spikes award". Lawrence Journal-World. Associated Press. October 28, 1993. p. 4C. Retrieved August 5, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. May 15, 1989 Milwaukee Brewers at Oakland Athletics Box Score and Play by Play - Baseball-Reference.com
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Terry Francona". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved December 20, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Wulf, Steve. "Terry Francona". ESPN the Magazine. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved August 31, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Crasnick, Jerry (August 31, 2007). "MLB Acknowledges In-Game Uniform Check Timed Poorly". Retrieved August 31, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Browne, Ian (February 24, 2008). "Red Sox extend Francona's contract". redsox.com. MLB.com. Retrieved August 31, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Edes, Gordon (February 24, 2008). "Updated info on Tito's deal". Boston Globe. Retrieved August 31, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Boston Red Sox Managers". baseball-reference.com. Sports Publishing LLC.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. McDonald, Joe (September 30, 2011). "Terry Francona, Red Sox split". ESPNBoston.com. Retrieved October 1, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Shaughnessy, Dan (October 1, 2011). "Ignore the spin – Red Sox fired Francona". The Boston Globe. p. A1. Retrieved April 6, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Terry Francona named new manager of Cleveland Indians". Espn.go.com. October 6, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Indians hire Francona as next manager". Usatoday.com. October 7, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. [1] Archived October 8, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  19. "Cleveland Indians Finish Fun Season with 4-0 Wild Card Loss to Tampa Bay Rays".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Indians, Francona agree to 2-year extension". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Hiestand, Michael (October 5, 2011). "Terry Francona replaces Fox's Tim McCarver for ALCS games 1, 2". USA Today.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. http://www.espnmediazone3.com/us/2011/12/05/terry-francona-joins-espn-multi-faceted-role-includes-sunday-night-baseball-analyst/
  23. "Terry Francona biography". Boston.com. Retrieved August 31, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "Nick Francona bio". pennathletics.com. Retrieved August 31, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. [2] Archived July 3, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  26. "Alyssa Francona". CSTV.com. Retrieved August 31, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "Leah Francona". CSTV.com. Retrieved August 31, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. "Inside the Collapse".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. "A Conversation with Terry Francona, Part Four".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. Wisnia, Saul (May 27, 2013). "The One Annoying Thing About Indians Manager Terry Francona". Bleacher Report.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Tommy Thompson
South Bend White Sox Manager
Succeeded by
Tony Franklin
Preceded by
Tony Franklin
Birmingham Barons Manager
Succeeded by
Mike Heath
Preceded by
Dick Tracewski
Detroit Tigers Third Base Coach
Succeeded by
Perry Hill
Preceded by
Bucky Dent
Texas Rangers Bench Coach
Succeeded by
Don Wakamatsu
Preceded by
Ken Macha
Oakland Athletics Bench Coach
Succeeded by
Chris Speier