A look back at Guardians manager Terry Francona’s amazing 1980

Manager Terry Francona #77 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Manager Terry Francona #77 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
Cleveland Indians, Terry Francona
Manager Terry Francona #77 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Though Terry Francona is known now as one of the greatest managers of all time, we’re looking back to his college days, where he won the 1980 College World Series at Arizona.

As fans, we often are enthralled by the previous success a manager has had in their ability to lead teams to a championship. In fact, we often do not realize the previous athletic success that coaches and managers have had as they are making managerial decisions for our favorite team. Certainly, those managing our favorite teams do not have to have been standout athletes themselves, as coaching is much different than playing.

However, it is always interesting to look back at a manager’s previous athletic success.

Guardians manager Terry Francona has certainly had a successful managerial career as he has won two World Series championships. In addition with Cleveland, Francona has led the franchise to multiple playoff appearances and a 2016 World Series appearance.

However, long before Francona led the Guardians to a World Series appearance, he was one of the best amateur baseball players in America.

With the MLB exhibition season delayed – and now potentially the regular season – attention has recently been turned to the start of the NCAA college baseball season.

A collegiate player receiving attention for his baseball performance is Daniel Susac. According to Jason Scheer ofWildcat Authority, Susac has recently been named to the Golden Spikes Award watch list.

The Golden Spikes Award is an annual honor awarded to the top amateur baseball player. Scheer noted that Francona won the Golden Spikes Award in 1980. Although the University of Arizona has had incredible teams since 1980, Francona is the only University of Arizona baseball player to ever win the Golden Spikes Award.

So how did the Guardians manager do in 1980?

Not only did Francona win the Golden Spikes Award, he helped the University of Arizona win the NCAA College World Series. Additionally, Francona was named the MVP of the College World Series, going 11-24 for a .458 batting average, according to a UPI report published in the Tyrone Daily Herald on June 7, 1980.

Not too shabby.