Today in Tribe History: April 22, 1959
Bob Toth | On 22, Apr 2021
Indians manager and former designated hitter Terry Francona is born in Aberdeen, South Dakota. He is born one month and one day after his father, outfielder and first baseman Tito Francona, was acquired by Cleveland from the Detroit Tigers.
The younger “Tito” played his college ball at the University of Arizona and was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the first round of the 1980 draft. He debuted the next season at the age of 22 and spent five seasons with the Expos before joining the Chicago Cubs. He played one season there before a season in Cincinnati with the Reds in 1987.
He hit .311 with the Indians in 1988, serving primarily as the team’s DH in his 62 games in the Majors after hitting .323 with Triple-A Colorado Springs. He spent a season and one month with the Milwaukee Brewers following his time in Cleveland and wrapped up his career with time at Triple-A for the St. Louis Cardinals.
He got into coaching in the minors with the Chicago White Sox, spending four seasons with the club while notably coaching NBA legend Michael Jordan during his professional baseball attempt. Francona cracked the Major League managerial circuit with Philadelphia from 1997 to 2000 and Boston from 2004 to 2011 before his return to Cleveland in 2013.