Tito Francona, the father of Indians manager Terry Francona and the oldest living Oakland A’s player, died on Tuesday night. He was 84.
The elder Francona spent 15 seasons in the major leagues, including a stop in Oakland during his final two seasons.
Most of Francona’s success came with Cleveland, where he batted .363 and finished fifth in the American League MVP voting in 1959 and where he was an All-Star in 1961. He was a career .272 hitter with 125 home runs.
In Oakland, Francona enjoyed success as a bench player in both 1969 and ’70. The left-handed hitting outfielder/first baseman batted .341/.418/.541 with three home runs and 20 RBIs in 32 games for the A’s in ’69. He was traded to Milwaukee during the 1970 season and retired at the end of the year.
His son also spent time with the A’s as Terry Francona was the A’s bench coach in 2003 before moving on to manage the Red Sox in 2004, where he led Boston to its first World Series title in 86 years.
Tito Francona made frequent visits to Cleveland the past five seasons, where his son manages the Indians. The Indians said Francona died unexpectedly at his home in New Brighton, Penn.
It’s with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of former Tribe great John Patsy “Tito” Francona, father of our current manager Terry Francona. Our thoughts are with the entire Francona family during this time. pic.twitter.com/www63kiltB
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) February 14, 2018
Francona’s death means former Giants manager Felipe Alou is now the oldest living Oakland A’s player. Alou, 82, and Tito Francona were teammates with the A’s in 1970.