Jan. 25—Terry Francona has his wheels back.
The Guardians' manager discovered his scooter was stolen earlier this week as he prepared to drive it over to the Convention Center for the Guards Fest. But Cleveland police found it and returned it to Francona early on Jan. 25.
Francona drove his returned scooter to the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission's Awards Banquet on Jan. 25 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
"There were five or six policemen who brought it back to the ballpark," Francona said. "We took some pictures. It ended up being cool."
Francona said he noticed Saturday morning that the scooter was missing prior to leaving for Guards Fest.
"I was like, 'You gotta be kidding me,'" Francona said. "You know what, I guess when you live in the middle of downtown in a city, I gotta lock it. I never have."
Francona said the scooter is his main mode of transportation, even on snowy days.
"Yeah, (it is cold), but it's better than walking," he said with a laugh. "The last three or four days I've been walking. I'll take the brisk."
Francona was on hand to accept a pair of major awards at the banquet. He accepted the professional athlete of the year for Jose Ramirez, who was unable to attend. And he also accepted an award for the Guardians who were voted as the best sports moment in Cleveland in 2022.
The girls high school athlete of the year went to Katie Clute of Olmsted Falls. NDCL volleyball player Caroline Jurevicius was a finalist for the award and was represented by her father, Joe, as Caroline has already enrolled at the University of Nebraska and has practice this week.
"Time flies," said Jurevicius, a former standout at Lake Catholic who went on to play at Penn State and in the NFL. "Looking back at pictures and dropping her off last week was tough. I didn't cry — or maybe I DID cry — but listen, she's put in a lot of work to get to go to a school like University of Nebraska. She's out the door and going to try to become the very best version of herself and try to win a national championship with the Huskers."
Other award winners on Jan. 25 were:
—Tyler Lencewicz (Shaker Heights hockey) as the boys high school athlete of the year.
—Sencire Carry (Kent State men' basketball) as the male college athlete of the year.
—Case Western Reserve women's soccer team as the female college athlete of the year.
—Maya Austerman of Avon Lake with the Courage Award.
—Luise Easton as the 5-star senior athlete award winner
—Ted Ginn Sr. as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.