Terry Francona, Manager, Cleveland Indians
Date of Birth: 4/22/1959
Birthplace: Aberdeen, South Dakota
College: University of Arizona
Terry Francona, the Cleveland Indians manager, grew up in a baseball family, with a father who played major league baseball for the first 11 years of Terry's life. He followed in his father's footsteps and played baseball in high school and college. He was drafted in 1980 by the Montreal Expos and a year later was playing in the major leagues.
Francona began as an outfielder with the Montreal Expos, but he eventually became their first baseman. After a few successful years with the team, they released him when his batting average fell in 1985. Francona then moved from team to team, playing for four different teams in as many years - Chicago Cubs in 1986, Cincinnati Reds in 1987, Cleveland Indians in 1988, and, finally, the Milwaukee Brewers in 1989. He retired as a player after playing only three games in the 1990 season.
Francona next tried his hand at coaching and managing in the minor leagues. During his five years in the minor leagues, Francona earned several honors, including Baseball America's Minor League Manager of the Year in 1993.
In 2004, Francona was hired to manage the Boston Red Sox. He held that position through the 2011 season. During his time in Boston, the Red Sox broke their 86 year old curse, finally winning a World Series in 2004. They repeated that feat four years later, ending forever all talk of the "curse of the Bambino." Unfortunately, after a strong showing going into September of 2011, the Red Sox had a devastating collapse, losing two thirds of their games and dropping out of contention for the AL Wild Card. It also ended Francona's tenure as manager of the Red Sox.
After eight years as manager of the Boston Red Sox, Terry Francona sat out the 2012 season, working on the broadcasting side of baseball. He started with the Fox Network and the AL Championship series and then moved to ESPN, where he replaced Bobby Valentine, the sports analyst who, in turn, replaced Francona as the Boston Red Sox's manager for the 2012 season.
In October, 2012, Francona was hired by the Cleveland Indians to manage the team. In 2013, he led the Indians to a second place finish in the American League Central division with a 92-70 win-loss record. Francona was named the American League Manager of the Year in 2013 for turning around the losing record of the Indians.
Francona led the Indians to a third place finish in the AL Central division in 2014. The team finished with an 85-77 record. The team finished again in third place in 2015 with an 81-80 record.
In 2016, Francona led the Indians to a first place finish in the AL Central division with 94 wins and 67 losses. They sailed through the playoff games, first defeating the Boston Red Sox in three games in the AL Division series and then defeating the Toronto Blue Jays three games to two in the AL Championship series. They lost the World Series to the Chicago Cubs in a tough battle through seven games, losing the series in the tenth inning of game seven. He was awarded his second AL Manager of the Year award for his leadership of the Indians in 2016.
In his 16 years as a major league manager, Francona has 1,381 wins to 1,209 losses.
On November 4, 2016, the Indians picked up Francona's options through the 2020 season.