Friday, November 9, 2018

#30 Tito Francona

Tito Francona  Cleveland Indians

Career: The father of Indians' manager Terry, Tito Francona had a long pro career. He began as a Browns signee in 1952 and played 15 big league seasons, six with Cleveland. He was a top 5 MVP candidate in 1959, led the league in doubles in 1960 and made the AL All-Star team in 1961. He passed away at the age of 84 earlier in 2018.

In 1960: After a sterling 1959 season (.363 and a career-high 20 homers) in 1959 his numbers dipped a bit to a .291 average and 17 homers.

Off The Charts: He and Rocky Colavito tied for 2nd with one vote each in the 1956 ROY balloting. The winner was Luis Aparicio who got 22 votes. Hey, second place isn't always the first loser.

The Card: Dig that chaw of tobacco in Tito's cheek. And that classic gold on cream card-back with seasons highlight bullet points. I love it. It takes me back to the schoolyard and my friends and I shuffling through stacks of these things. Nostalgia is a helluva drug.

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