Card: 1980 TCMA Memphis Chicks #13 Terry Francona
So, this is his first card?
Yes. Though it’s worth noting that Tito’s real rookie cards came in 1982, with his Donruss (#627) and Fleer (#188) cards. But they are easy to find. This one, since MiLB cards were printed in such small numbers, is a little more difficult to locate. I lucked into this card for only a couple dollars. How much is it worth? No idea. They don't come up for sale very often, and the prices are all over the place.
So, who is this bright eyed 21-year-old prospect who played for the Chicks?
Outfielder Terry Francona was the 22nd overall pick of the 1980 draft, taken out of University of Arizona by the Montreal Expos. He opened his professional career with AA Memphis, hitting .300/.333/.395. He started the 1981 season back there, putting up great numbers over 169 at-bats (.348/.410/.783) before getting pushed to AAA Denver. Tito would put up similarly great numbers in Denver and would get called up the big leagues on August 19, 1981. Worth noting that in his first two seasons in the minors he was an on-base machine, but only hit three home runs in 726 at-bats. So power was not his game. He would only hit 16 in his 10 big league seasons.