Francona Commits $1 Million To Arizona

TUCSON, Ariz. — Former University of Arizona All-American outfielder and current Cleveland Indians Manager Terry Francona has committed $1 million to the Arizona baseball program.

Francona’s donation will be targeted for the baseball capital projects fund, which will include the Terry Francona Hitting Facility at Hi Corbett Field.

“Since I moved back to Tucson four years ago, it has been a priority of mine to give back to the University of Arizona,” Francona said.

“The reason I am doing this is because of the impact the University has had on my life. The people at the University of Arizona gave me an opportunity to go to the professional level, and not just survive, but be prepared. That’s a big reason why I want to give back.”

Francona’s donation comes in addition to a $1 million matching gift made by an anonymous donor in June for stadium capital improvements.

More than $300,000 has already been matched towards this summer’s gift, but there is still an opportunity to contribute towards the remaining $700,000.

Construction on the hitting facility will begin next summer with the goal of being completed by the fall. It will be located in the current footprint of the batting cages, beyond the right field wall.

Current projects at Hi Corbett Field include an installation of a new backstop, the replacement of seating in certain sections behind home plate, and a renovation to the home clubhouse, which is expected to commence following the 2017 season.

Francona batted .321 as a freshman in 1978 and .378 as a sophomore before batting .401 with nine home runs, 26 doubles and 84 RBI as a junior. In addition to leading the Wildcats to a national title in 1980, Francona won the Golden Spikes Award and was an All-American.

“Terry Francona makes a hall of fame impact with everything he does,” said Arizona Head Coach Jay Johnson.  

“I am beyond thankful for this gift to our program, and I can’t think of anyone’s name I would rather have on the facility than Tito’s. This is a special day and a great step for Arizona baseball in our pursuit of producing one of the best player-development platforms in the country.”