GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Indians manager Terry Francona has rejoined the team at spring training after the death of his father, the former Cleveland player with whom he shares a nickname.
Francona said Sunday that he went to Pennsylvania to be with his family, and is now back in Arizona to be with another group he considers family. He added that’s not just baseball, but Cleveland and the people.
John “Tito” Francona, who proudly watched his son follow his footsteps to the major leagues, died unexpectedly at his home on Tuesday night in New Brighton, Pennsylvania. He was 84.
The younger Francona, who had been away from the team since Thursday, said he was flooded with messages and believes he was able to answer every one of them. He said that since his dad played for nine teams and was a good guy, there were a lot of people reaching out to say kind things.