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Ex-Arizona Wildcat Terry Francona wins AL Manager of Year for 3rd time

terry-francona-wins-al-manager-of-year-cleveland-guardians-arizona-wildcats-baseball Photo by Darin Wallentine/J and L Photography/Getty Images

Former Arizona baseball star Terry Francona was named AL Manager of the Year for the third time in his career after leading the Cleveland Guardians to a division title.

Francona, a first-team All-American and national champion at Arizona, guided the Guardians to a 92-70 record to win the AL Central. The Guardians were the youngest team in Major League Baseball this year.

Francona received 17 first-place votes, ahead of Baltimore Orioles manager Brandon Hyde and Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais.

“It should be considered an organizational award, because that’s how I feel,” Francona said. “You start hearing people talk about you personally, it makes you a little uneasy, but for the things that it allows me to brag about our organization, that makes me really happy.’’

Francona previously won Manager of the Year awards with Cleveland in 2013 and 2016. The 63-year old has amassed an 1,874-1,586 record in 22 years as a MLB manager. Francona won a pair of World Series with the Boston Red Sox.

The award is all the more remarkable considering Francona missed the last three months of the 2021 season because of health issues.

There was talk that Francona might retire after this past season, but the Guardians announced last month that he will return in 2023.

In the meantime, Francona is back to indulging in one of his other favorite pastimes, Arizona basketball.