Tito is calling it a career, and what a great one it was.
The former Arizona Wildcats star is expected to formally announce his retirement from coaching when the 2023 season ends Sunday. The Cleveland Guardians are out of contention for the MLB playoffs, so this weekend will mark the end of his 23-year career as a big-league manager.
Francona’s final game at Progressive Field in Cleveland was a 4-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
he 64-year-old Francona, who is known as ‘Tito,’ has a career record of 1,948-1,670 with Cleveland, the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies. He won two World Series titles with Boston, including in 2004 when Boston ended it’s 86-year championship drought, and also reached the World Series with Cleveland in 2016 when it lost to the Chicago Cubs in seven games.
At the UA, Francona was the Golden Spikes Award winner in 1980 in helping the Wildcats win the College World Series, and was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011. He went on to get picked 22nd overall by the Montreal Expos, playing parts of 10 seasons in the majors with five different clubs.
Francona is a regular fixture at Arizona men’s basketball games, both at McKale Center and elsewhere. In 2022 he was attending the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas but had to leave early when a labor stoppage ended in early March.