Sunday, March 14, 2010

1967 Topps Tito Francona Philadelphia Phillies

Today's entry never played for the Boston Red Sox but will forever be linked to the franchise because of his son. It is Tito Francona, first baseman and outfielder of the Philadelphia Phillies and father of Red Sox manager, Terry Francona. Card number 443 of the 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball card set of 609 cards.

This autograph was obtained with a through the mail request to Tito Francona's home in Pennsylvania on January 29, 2009. He returned the card with a nice autograph in blue ball point pen 12 days later. Thank you, Mr. Francona.

Tito Francona played 15 seasons in the Major Leagues from 1956 to 1970. Through his career, Tito played for 9 teams including the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals, Phillies, Atlanta Braves, Oakland A's and ended his career with the Milwaukee Brewers. He finished 2nd in the Rookie of the Year voting behind future Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio. Tito Francona was selected to the American League All-Star team in 1961. His career of 1719 games included a .272 batting average, 1395 hits, 125 home runs and 656 runs batted in. In 1959, Tito hit .363 but did not win the batting title because he failed to have the proper number of plate appearances. He fell 34 plate appearance short of qualifying for the title. On July 31, 1963, he hit the third home run in a series of four consecutive home runs in a single inning against pitcher Paul Foytack of the Los Angeles Angels. This was the second time in baseball history that a team hit four consecutive home runs in a single inning.

Tito Francona's son Terry is the current manager of the Boston Red Sox and has led the Red Sox to World Series Championships in 2004 and 2007, breaking the 86 year drought.

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