The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association announced that Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona will be honored with the Brooks Robinson Community Service Award at the 19th Annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City on Nov. 8 at Capitale.The Brooks Robinson Community Service Award is given annually by
The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association announced that Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona will be honored with the Brooks Robinson Community Service Award at the 19th Annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City on Nov. 8 at Capitale.
The Brooks Robinson Community Service Award is given annually by the MLBPAA to a current or former Major League Baseball player, coach or manager. The recipient's community service exemplifies the unselfish and humble attitude of Brooks Robinson, bettering the lives of the youth in his community. The award is given in honor of the dedication Robinson has shown to young people across the country through his support of the Legends for Youth Clinic Series and the MLBPAA since its inception in 1982. Previous winners include Clint Hurdle, Adam Jones, Jamie Moyer, Jim Thome, Tim Wakefield and Manny Acta.
"Terry is one of the most fantastic guys I've ever met before," said Robinson, the MLBPAA president and a Hall of Famer. "He's active in the community, and he's just an all-around guy. He's been a real success."
Francona is extremely active in his community, raising money for cancer research and creating a pasta sauce to help fund inner-city participation in sports and education. The pasta sauce, called Tito Francona & Son Pasta Sauce, was created by Terry and his late father, John "Tito" Francona, and is sold at grocery stores across Ohio, with a portion of proceeds going to Cleveland Indians Charities. Francona also spearheaded the creation of the Larry Doby Youth Fund in 2016, when he made a donation of $1 million to provide grants for underserved youth in Cleveland on behalf of the Indians, calling it the proudest moment in his baseball career.
After a 10-year playing career, Francona held various coaching positions with the White Sox, Tigers, Rangers and Athletics. From 1997-2000, Francona managed the Philadelphia Phillies, and he went on to manage Team USA in the 2001 Baseball World Cup. In '04, Francona became the manager of the Red Sox and led the club to two World Series titles, including their first in 86 years.
After his managerial career with the Red Sox ended in 2011, Francona spent the '12 season as an ESPN analyst until he was named manager of the Cleveland Indians for the '13 season, leading the Indians to a postseason berth in his first season en route to his first American League Manager of the Year Award. Francona led the Indians to the World Series in '16 and received praise for his effective use of relief pitchers, earning him his second AL Manager of the Year Award.
The Legends for Youth Dinner aims to recognize former Major League Baseball players for their accomplishments on the diamond coupled with their off-the-field contributions to communities across the nation. The 14th annual Heart and Hustle Award will be handed out as well.
The MLBPAA allocates proceeds from the event to the Legends for Youth Baseball Clinic Series. The Legends for Youth program is a series of free baseball clinics designed to provide children with positive role models, teach young players baseball fundamentals and promote the game of baseball.
Deesha Thosar is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @DeeshaThosar.