Sunday, August 16, 2015

THEN AND NOW #41: TITO FRANCONA 1970

Since I haven't had the chance to design a "Then and Now" card using the 1970 Topps template, I figured I'd go and make one up for former outfielder/first baseman Tito Francona, father of future player and manager Terry Francona.
Check out my card:


Tito was pretty much wrapping up a nice 14-year career in 1970 (watch for my 1971 "Career Capper" soon!), which saw him finish second in Rookie of the Year voting in 1956 when he came up with the Baltimore Orioles, and also put in some solid seasons with the Cleveland Indians between 1959 and 1964.
The 1959 season was arguably his best, as he hit an eye-opening .363 with 145 hits over 399 at-bats, with 20 homers and 79 runs batted in.
Those numbers got him a fifth-place finish for MVP when voting came around.
After he moved on to St. Louis in 1965 he began a slow decline in numbers and bounced around a bit before retiring after the '70 season.
Between 1965 and 1970 he suited up for the Cardinals, Phillies, Braves, A's and Brewers, ending up with a respectable .272 career average with 1395 hits, 125 homers and 656 RBI's in 1719 games.

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