Author: Terry Francona & Dan Shaughnessy
# pages: 368
Date published: 2013
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Would you recommend it? Yes
Because of my family’s background with the Boston Red Sox (read: obsessed), I couldn’t have been more excited to read Francona: The Red Sox Years, which details the career of Terry “Tito” Francona as manager of the Boston Red Sox. The highlights of Francona’s career include the World Series that broke the Curse of the Bambino in 2004, followed by another win in 2007.
When I first started reading, I worried that his would be a stereotypical memoir—a little mundane and a little too long. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a perfect glimpse into the life of Manager Francona, written with enough personal touch to feel like I was sitting in a room hearing his stories firsthand. Tito is hilarious—he tells it like it is, and he really cares about his players. With a perfect balance of insight into the inner workings of the franchise alongside contributions from players, managers, and others, this memoir proved easy to read, and it helped me understand the ups and downs of Red Sox fandom. Francona comes across as witty, grounded, and talented, and Dan Shaughnessy, his co-author, demonstrates a gift for highlighting these qualities while moving the story forward at a reasonable pace.
I highly recommend Francona: The Red Sox Years to any Red Sox fan, baseball fan, or anyone trying to better understand the culture of Boston—the Sox are undoubtedly a large part of the city. Getting a look into the real Red Sox, not just their games on TV, made me love them more despite their faults and their quirky (and sometimes difficult) personalities. The memoir is great look into what it takes to be a good manager and the debate between winning games and making money, and I learned that baseball is as much about the people who make it possible as it is about pitching and hitting a baseball. Ultimately, I finished both informed and entertained.
Review by Molly Saint, A&S '15