The Top 20 Moments in Jacobs Field History: Wow
The 2013 season will mark the 20th year of baseball at Progressive (ie Jacobs) Field. It’s been a relatively short history (although with the stadium building boom in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Progressive Field is the 13th oldest facility in the majors). Did the Tribe Win Last Night? has compiled a list of the 20 most memorable moments in the field’s history. We’ll count them down while we wait for Opening Day.
By Vince Guerrieri
13. “Wow!” July 16, 1995
Dennis Eckersley’s major league career started as a starting pitcher for the Indians, and in 1977, he threw a no-hitter for the Tribe against the Angels. But he ended up getting dealt to the Red Sox because of, uh, let’s say clubhouse issues.
So a one-run lead in extras in Cleveland shouldn’t be a problem, right? Well, on a sweltering Sunday afternoon, it was.
Eckersley took the mound in the bottom of the 12th with a 4-3 lead. Carlos Baerga singled for the Indians, but Albert Belle and Jim Thome both flied out. It looked like the A’s might get away with a win. Indians manager put Kenny Lofton in to pinch-run for Baerga, never the swiftest player for the Tribe, and up stepped Manny Ramirez.
Ramirez was signed by the Indians in 1991 out of George Washington High School in New York City. Two years later, he was in the majors. He had demonstrated himself as a hitting savant, with a sweet swing for average and for power. His fielding and running? Well, he was a great hitter.
Lofton stole second as Eckersley and the A’s focused on the batter. With a 2-2 count, Eck tried to blow a fastball past Manny. His mistake. The pitch ended up in the bleachers. It was Manny’s 21st home run of the year, and the Indians had won their 50th game.
All Eckersley could do – and they still show this on SportsTime Ohio when they roll the credits of Indians games – is say “Wow.”