John Patsy "Tito" Francona, the father of Tribe manager Terry Francona, passed away yesterday at the age of 84, according to Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com."Tito" played in the Major Leagues for 15 years, from 1956 to 1970, and spent six of those with the Indians, from 1959 to 1964. He made his only All-Star appearance, in 1961, during his stint with the Tribe.
In Francona's 15 years in the big leagues, he moved between the outfield and first base and finished his career with a .272 batting average and 125 home runs. In his lone All-Star year, he batted .301 with 16 home runs and 85 runs batted in. While the best years of his career were spent in Cleveland, the elder Francona started his career with the Baltimore Orioles. After playing for the Indians, he went on to play with Atlanta, St. Louis, Oakland, Philadelphia, Detroit, Milwaukee and the Chicago White Sox
In his post-baseball career, Francona was the director of parks and recreation in his hometown of New Brighton, PA, which is just down the road from where he grew up in Aliquippa, PA. He watched every Tribe game
and even made it to a few in person each year. He passed at his home in New Brighton late Tuesday night. Spring Training for the Tribe begins today in Arizona.