Tue, Jan 24, 2023 10:18 PM
By TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) — The case of the stolen scooter has been solved.
Cleveland police recovered Guardians manager Terry Francona's beloved two-wheeled ride on Tuesday night after it was swiped from outside his downtown apartment this past weekend.
A team spokesman said police located the scooter and arrangements were being made for Francona to pick it up Wednesday. The scooter was being stored with the Cleveland Police traffic unit motorcycles.
Francona, who was named AL Manager of the Year last season, has been riding a scooter from his residence to Progressive Field for years.
Earlier, police spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia said detectives were checking surveillance video in the area.
The 63-year-old Francona, who spends the offseason in Arizona, was in Cleveland over the weekend for Guards Fest, the team's annual winter fan festival. He noticed his scooter was missing before attending Saturday's event.
It's common to see Francona, known as “Tito,” waving to fans as he zips around the city. The team had a bobblehead giveaway a few years ago with Francona riding his scooter.
This isn't the first time a Francona scooter has made news.
At spring training in 2015, his ride was damaged when a team employee crashed it during a promotional shoot in Arizona. At the time, Francona joked that his scooter was on the disabled list.
The theft is the second involving a prominent Cleveland sports figure in recent weeks.
A pickup truck owned by Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was one of several vehicles stolen from an area car dealership. The truck, which was being serviced, was later recovered in a ditch.
A two-time World Series winner with Boston, Francona has spent 10 seasons with Cleveland. He was named the AL's top manager for the third time after leading the Guardians to 92 wins and a division title in 2022 despite having the majors' youngest team.
Francona has been slowed by health problems the past few seasons.
On Saturday, he said he's feeling great and looking forward to the 2023 season. Francona has an open-ended contract with the organization, which intends to keep him as its manager as long as he wants.
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