Friday, June 24, 2022

Wood vs. Wood #97

 Last time, 1987 won, 6-3. Who will triumph this time?

Tito Francona is shown posing in the dugout. Not sure if it's spring training or the regular season. Note the big #14 on his sleeve - in the early days of baseball on TV a lot of teams went with extra large numbers so you could see them clearly on the small screen. Tito (real name John Patsy Francona) was a solid regular OF-1B for Cleveland. From 1959-1962 he hit at least .270 with 14 HR and 70 RBI each season, and he led the AL with 36 doubles in 1960. He slumped badly the following two seasons, but hung around until 1970 as the Cardinals, Phillies, Braves, A's and Brewers all took a chance on him to see if the old bat would return. Overall in 15 seasons he hit .272 with 125 HR and 656 RBI. After his career he was the Director of Parks and Recreation for New Brighton, PA. He is best known today as the father of Terry Francona, who now managed the team his dad once starred for. He died in 2018.

Glenn Wilson gets one of the most dynamic photos in the '87 set, once hand already coming off the bat as he looks like he's drilled a line drive to center field. It's a day game at Shea Stadium. This may be his RBI single to right off Dwight Gooden in the top of the first on April 19, Wilson's only hit in seven at-bats in two day games at Shea in '86. Like Francona, Wilson started his career with a few solid seasons as a regular outfielder, most notably 1985 when he hit .275 with 14 HR and 102 RBI for the Phillies, earning an all-star appearance. Like Francona, several teams gave Wilson a chance to revisit his early success, in his case the Mariners, Pirates, Astros, and Pirates again. Overall in ten seasons he hit .265 with 98 HR and 521 RBI. After his playing career he became a minister and a youth baseball coach. He shared some baseball card stories with this blog in 2012.


  1. Both nice cards, but the Francona is more than just nice, and easily gets the vote.

  2. I like the action on the '87 card, not to mention the powder blue and maroon uniform. But the Francona card is just cooler and gets my vote.

  3. Wilson.

    (He was known for having one of the better outfield throwing arms of the era.)

  4. Wilson gets my vote, because of the nice action shot... but it looks like Tito is gonna win in a landslide.

  5. Close, but I'll give the edge to Francona.