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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | October 22, 2018

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Posts By Vince Guerrieri

Ten Cent Beer Night, A Promotion Gone Terribly Wrong

June 4, 2012 |

Today is the 38th anniversary of the infamous 10-cent beer night at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Here’s an excerpt from “Ohio Sports Trivia,” by J. Alexander Poulton and Did the Tribe Win Last Night staff writer Vince Guerrieri.

Under the ownership of Bill Veeck in the 1940s, the Indians were known for some excellent promotions.

Veeck largely invented the concept of people coming out to the ballpark for events other than baseball, be they a mock funeral for the pennant, like he did in Cleveland in 1949, sending a midget up to bat, like he did when he owned the St. Louis Browns (and he feared this event would be on his tombstone) or a scoreboard that shot off fireworks, like he had at Comiskey Park when he owned the White Sox.

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Eddie Klep: Like Jackie Robinson – But In Reverse

May 29, 2012 |

By Vince Guerrieri

The city of Cleveland has been fairly racially progressive in its history.

Larry Doby was the first black player in the American League, for the Indians. In 1975, the Indians also hired the first black manager, Frank Robinson. John McLendon, as coach of the Cleveland Pipers, became the first black professional basketball coach in America. In fact, Cleveland was the first major city in the United States to elect a black mayor, Carl Stokes.

And 66 years ago today – almost a full year before Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color line, a ball player for the Cleveland Buckeyes did the same. Eddie Klep became the first white baseball player in the Negro Leagues when he pitched seven innings for the Buckeyes in a game at Grand Rapids.

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Sellout Streaks A Thing Of The Past In Cleveland

May 22, 2012 |

By Vince Guerrieri

In 1994, I was at Wahoo Winterfest, the annual preseason activity to gin up excitement for the Indians. Not that they needed to that year. The new home for the Tribe was under construction as part of the Gateway Project.

We went up to the top of what was then called the Society Tower for a presentation on the new ballpark, and a question-and-answer with Bob DiBiasio. Someone asked if the Indians would go back to Municipal Stadium if crowds were big enough.

He said no, and then said something that I’ve never forgotten just to tell us how everyone would be able to see the new ballpark.

“For the Indians to sell out every game for an entire season, they’d have to sell about 3.4 million tickets,” he said. “Not only have the Indians never done that, no team in major league history has ever done that.”

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Colavito A Symbol of Unique and Tribe Decline

May 16, 2012 |

By Vince Guerrieri

In the past week, Major League Baseball saw Orioles first baseman Chris Davis get a pitching win in relief and Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton crush four home runs in a game.

One man’s done both in his career – Rocco Domenico Colavito, a Tribe fan favorite who turned into the symbol of the Tribe’s decline.

The Rock grew up playing stickball in New York City, but was drafted by Hank Greenberg for the Indians in 1950. He made a brief appearance with the Tribe in 1955, but broke in for good with the Indians in 1956, earning one vote for rookie of the year. In 1958, he socked 41 home runs, had a .303 batting average and batted in 113 runs to finish third in MVP voting. The following year, he hit 42 home runs and was named to his first All-Star team. Four of those home runs came against the Orioles on June 10, 1959, at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore.

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Baseball Heritage Museum a Hidden Cleveland Gem

May 8, 2012 |

By Vince Guerrieri

The Colonial Marketplace is a relic on Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland. The office/retail/hotel space hearkens back to the days when indoor arcades were the height of a shopping experience.

And on the Euclid Arcade side of Marketplace – across from the food court that connects the Euclid Arcade with the Colonial Arcade – is what might be one of the best-kept secrets in downtown Cleveland: The Baseball Heritage Museum.

The museum’s roots date back to 1997, when Robert Zimmer started putting some of his baseball memorabilia on display at his father’s jewelry store on East Fourth Street. Zimmer, now a realtor, was at one point an antiques dealer – and describes himself as a collector.

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Tigers Legend Helped Build Indians of the 1950s

May 1, 2012 |

He was the original Hammerin’ Hank. In the less enlightened time when he played, he was also known as the Hebrew Hammer.

But after a lengthy and successful career – almost exclusively with the Detroit Tigers – Hank Greenberg came to Cleveland and left his mark on the Indians.

After the 1947 season – the only one he played with the Pittsburgh Pirates – Greenberg’s playing career ended. He retired with a career .313 batting average and 331 home runs – a number which could have vastly increased had Greenberg not lost the bulk of four seasons to service in the Army Air Forces in World War II.

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Jacobs Field Nearing Twenty Years Of History

April 24, 2012 |

By Vince Guerrieri

Twenty years ago last week, construction started on Cleveland’s field of dreams.

On April 16, 1992, concrete started being poured for the new baseball stadium as part of the Gateway Project in downtown Cleveland, which also included a new arena that would be the home of the Cleveland Cavaliers, then playing in the Richfield Coliseum.

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Everyone Homers But A-Rod Reunited In Cleveland

April 15, 2012 |

Seeing Johnny Damon and Shelley Duncan reunited again takes me back to the summer of 2007, and one of the most unforgettable baseball games I’ve ever seen.

I got married that fall (I know, I’m just as surprised by that as you are). My brother Adam was going to be my best man, and I determined that he needed to see Yankee Stadium. Adam, for reasons I can’t fully understand, is a Yankees fan. I think it’s because of brain damage that can be traced back to when I fed him PicturePages as a baby.

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Damon Could Provide Spark To Tribe But Isn’t Savior

April 12, 2012 | | One Comment

By Vince Guerrieri

Johnny Damon’s 38. Last year he hit .261 for the Tampa Bay Rays, with 16 home runs and 73 RBIs.

But he’s still an improvement offensively for the Indians – there’s almost no place to go but up.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports isn’t alone in reporting that Damon is near a deal with the Indians, adding another left-handed bat to a lineup that’s full of them, but his veteran presence and experience as a winner – not to mention any offense he might be able to produce – could be just what the Indians need.

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Presidential First Pitch Originated With Ohio, Cleveland Ties

April 10, 2012 |

The throwing out of the ceremonial first pitch is a tradition that started in 1910 with President William Howard Taft. And it’s all because of a Youngstown native and former Cleveland baseball player and manager named Jimmy McAleer.

McAleer knocked around the minor leagues in the 1880s before breaking into the National League with the Cleveland Spiders in 1889. He was regarded as speedy on the basepaths and in center field. His batting was a little less solid. The Robisons, owners of the Spiders, also bought the St. Louis Browns of the National League (later the Cardinals) and essentially cherry-picked all the talent from Cleveland to St. Louis. McAleer opted to stay in Northern Ohio. The Spiders folded after the 1899 season, but McAleer latched on as player/manager for the Lake Shores, a team in the American League in 1900.

In 1901, the Lake Shores became the Blues, taking the name of an older team. The Blues, of course, would go on to be the Indians. McAleer was their manager, and participated in what is now regarded as the first American League game as part of the major leagues, an 8-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Read More

League Park’s Long History Looks To Add New Chapters

April 3, 2012 | | 2 Comments

By Vince Guerrieri

Cy Young opened it – twice. Babe Ruth hit his 500th home run there, and it was the site of the only unassisted triple play in World Series history. It was home to an NFL team and a practice field for another.

League Park opened as a wooden grandstand at the end of a cable car line in 1891, and 19 years later, was rebuilt as a concrete and steel ballpark. It served as the home of the Indians full-time until 1932, and then on and off until 1946. It was also the brief but successful home field for the Cleveland Buckeyes of the Negro Leagues.

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Abreu Trade Talks Spark Fans Dislike

March 30, 2012 | | 3 Comments

By Vince Guerrieri

Did Trevor Crowe become an all-star and I missed it?
That’s the only explanation I can think of for the level of vitriol I’ve heard from Tribe fans about the proposed trade of him to the Angels for Bobby Abreu. Tribe fans squawk when the team doesn’t make a deal, and then they don’t like it when they do.