Francona reminisces on time with Dad

Francona reminisces on time with Dad

BOSTON -- With the sons of Victor Martinez and David Ortiz engaging in a game of clubhouse soccer with Clay Buchholz, Terry Francona remembered his days in a Major League clubhouse with his father, Tito.

"My dad's last three or four years, I went to the ballpark just about every day," Francona said on Sunday, which was Father's Day. "My punishment was not being able to go early, and it happened once. It wasn't that I was a great kid, I just wanted to go to the ballpark."

Francona, whose father played for nine teams in a 15-season career, said he wasn't allowed in the clubhouse as much as the children of Martinez and Ortiz. But with his players away from home so much, his policy is a little looser.

"I used to sit in the back and listen to the conversations," Francona said. "I guess when I see Victor's kids or David's -- it seems like we bend the rules a little bit sometimes, I really don't care."

Francona said he "wasn't a picky kid" and rooted for any team his father was on. As for his favorite players, anyone who would play catch with him met his approval.

"In Milwaukee, it was Al Downing," Francona said. "To this day, I love Al Downing. He was a left-handed pitcher, which wasn't what I wanted to be, but he would play catch with me. All it takes when you are 8, 9 or 10 years old is for someone to say hello to you."

In Tito Francona's last season, an 11-year-old Terry got to accompany him on a 10-day road trip.

"My mom bought me a suit to go on that trip," Francona said. "Dressed me up with a tie on and got me on a plane. When I came back after 10 days, I was like an unmade bed. It was the best 10 days of my life."