Francona Named to CWS Legends Team
May 6, 2010
INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA and College World Series, Inc., announced on Thursday that former Arizona baseball player Terry Francona was one of 28 individuals named to the official College World Series Legends Team as part of the commemoration of the final Series in Omaha’s Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium.
The 28 members of the Legends Team, pared down from an original list of 95 nominees, were selected after more than 100,000 votes were cast by college baseball fans, college baseball writers and Division I head baseball coaches. The members of the Legends Team are former student-athletes and coaches who had the best CWS performances throughout the 60 years the event has been played at Rosenblatt Stadium.
Voting for the team was based solely on the former student-athletes’ performance when they were competing in the NCAA College World Series, and not for any regular season or post-collegiate performances.
Francona attended the University of Arizona from 1978-80, starring under coach Jerry Kindall. As a junior in 1980, Francona helped lead the Wildcats to the 1980 NCAA Championship, earning Most Outstanding Player honors. That same year, Francona won the Golden Spikes Award, presented annually by USA Baseball to the nation’s top amateur player. He hit .401 en route to also being named College Player of the Year by The Sporting News, and batted .458 at the College World Series.
As a freshman, Francona hit .321 as the Wildcats’ starting left fielder. In his sophomore season, Francona made the All-Pac-10 team on the strength of a .378 batting average, 104 hits, 22 doubles and 81 RBI. That year he won the Midwest Regional Most Valuable Player award and led the Wildcats to a fifth place finish at the College World Series.
Off the field, Francona was just as impressive. In 1979, he was awarded Arizona’s Golden Eagle Award, which was at the time the name of the scholarly honor that recognized some of the schools top student-athletes that excelled in both academics and athletics. That same year, he was selected first team Academic All-America.
In 1980, Francona was drafted in the first round of the Major League Draft, being selected No. 22 overall by the Montreal Expos. He played five seasons in Montreal, before moving to the Chicago Cubs in 1986. He finished his playing career with stints in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Milwaukee. In all, Francona played in 707 games in the Major Leagues and hit .274 for his career.
Since retiring as a player, Francona has served two stints as a major league manager, including four years as the skipper of the Philadelphia Phillies from 1997-2000. In 2004, he began his current run as the manager of the Boston Red Sox, leading the organization to World Series championships in 2004 and 2007.
A total of five former Wildcats were on the initial ballot for consideration for the Legends Team. Recognized on the initial list was Alan Hall (catcher, 1958-60), Craig Lefferts (pitcher, 1979-80), Charles Shoemaker (1959-60) and Steve Powers (DH, 1976).
FRANCONA’S INDIVIDUAL UA CAREER RANKS
Category Rank Stat
At-Bats 10 730
Hits 5 271
Doubles t-3 61
RBI 3 200
SB % t-10 .789
XBH t-10 86
Total Bases t-9 395