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John "Tito" Francona

Baseball ∙ New Brighton

 

 

 

 

John (Tito) Francona would have been elected to the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame sooner if he had been willing to accept the honor. But the modest former major league baseball player refused to be considered until older men he felt were more worthy had been voted in. Tito is a charter member of the Hall of Fameís executive board and served the organization as treasurer. He played 15 seasons of major league baseball (1956-1970) for the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, St Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves, Oakland Aís, and Milwaukee Brewers. He had a .272 lifetime batting average with 1395 hits, 125 homers, 656 RBIs, and 81 pinch hits. Tito played both outfield and first base during his long career. While playing for the Cleveland Indians in 1959, he batted .363 for the best average in the major leagues but didnít qualify for the American League batting title because he didnít have enough official times at bat (he was a pinch hitter during the first three months of that season). After ending his major league career, Tito coached briefly at the Community College of Beaver County. In 1971 he became recreation director of Beaver County. His son, Terry, went on to fame as a major league player and manager.