Countdown To Pitchers And Catchers: #26 Brook Jacoby
Today continues our countdown to the start of Indians pitchers and catchers reporting to Goodyear, Arizona on February 20. We’ll count down the days, profiling a former Indian who wore the corresponding number. Some players will be memorable, others just our favorites and some, the only one we could find who wore that number. Today, we chronicle the career of Brook Jacoby.
By Kevin Schnieder
In the 1980s, I as a youngster in central Ohio, I felt close to Indians third baseman Brook Jacoby.
Perhaps that’s because, when Jacoby played for the Tribe from 1984 to 1992, he and only hundreds of others, it seemed, made up the crowd who gathered in cavernous Cleveland Municipal Stadium for home games. This also meant we’d get to move down much closer than our purchased seats after the ushers politely looked the other way after a few innings. As a Little League third baseman, I always selected the third-base-line seats, so I could sit closer to my Major League counterpart.
One of the strongest performers of his Indians era, the third baseman made the All-Star Game in 1986 and 1990. His strongest offensive years came during the three seasons from 1985 to 1987; he hit between 17 and 32 HRs and 69 to 87 RBIs with a batting average that ranged from .274 to .300. Overall, he smacked 120 homers and played 1,240 games for the Indians.
The steady contributor led the American League in both 1985 and 1986 for defensive games as a third baseman and made more put A.L. putouts than anyone else at the position in 1987. The Tribe named Jacoby to its Top 100 Greatest Indians list, compiled with help from veteran baseball writers and historians.
Jacoby, who wore number 26 for nine seasons in Cleveland, debuted for the Braves in 1981. He came to the Indians, along with Rick Behenna and Brett Butler, in the blockbuster trade for Len Barker. Jacoby’s only other Major League service outside of Cleveland came in the second part of the 1991 season, when the Tribe traded him to Oakland for Lee Tinsley and Apolinar Garcia. Jacoby signed with the Indians in that off-season to finish out his career with Cleveland in 1992, his last season.
Now 52, Jacoby will enter his sixth season as the Cincinnati Reds hitting coach. He has kept ties to the Indians, though, and plans to participate in the Tribe’s 2012 Fantasy Camp.
Brook Jr. followed the professional path of his father, Brook Sr., who also played for the Indians.
Photo: Topps Baseball Cards