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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | February 23, 2018

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18 Crazy Nights

Eighteen Crazy Nights—Looking back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians

October 26, 2014 | | 3 Comments

During the month of October DTTWLN will take a look back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians season—specifically the 18 thrilling games of the postseason as the Indians made an improbable run to game seven of the World Series.

PART TWENTY-TWO:  WORLD SERIES GAME 7—THE BITTER END

Game Seven.

Cleveland had certainly been down a long and winding path that took them to baseball’s biggest stage.

The Indians had extremely lowered expectations heading into Spring Training, they traded their best and most popular player before camp broke and they underwhelmed all season with a pitching staff that looked more unwatchable than some Triple-A staffs.

They were huge underdogs when they faced the Yankees and Orioles on their unimaginable trip through the playoffs, yet they sent both foes packing.  They had battled through sloppy play and historically-cold weather in Cleveland to take the Marlins to the brink of elimination in a winner-take-all showdown in Miami.

For Marlins fans, the feeling was optimistic and fun-loving.  Their team was only in its fifth season of existence, and they were just waiting for good things to happen.  For Cleveland fans, things could not have been tenser.  For years, Cleveland had suffered through unbelievable and unbearable heartbreak. Read More

Eighteen Crazy Nights—Looking back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians

October 25, 2014 |

During the month of October DTTWLN will take a look back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians season—specifically the 18 thrilling games of the postseason as the Indians made an improbable run to game seven of the World Series.

PART TWENTY-ONE:  WORLD SERIES GAME 6—THE OMAR AND OGEA SHOW

Sometimes in sports unexpected things happen.

Moments occur that just couldn’t have been imagined; they make your jaw drop and hit the floor.  You compose yourself long enough to mutter out the words, “I can’t believe that just happened.”

Then there are other moments that aren’t really surprising at all…just incredible.

They happen over and over so often that they become routine…but still your jaw hits the ground because of how incredible the moment was.  Your jaw once again hits the floor and you compose yourself for long enough to say, “I can’t believe that Omar just did that again.”

Both of these scenarios played out perfectly for the Indians in Game Six of the 1997 World Series. Read More

Eighteen Crazy Nights—Looking back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians

October 23, 2014 |

During the month of October DTTWLN will take a look back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians season—specifically the 18 thrilling games of the postseason as the Indians made an improbable run to game seven of the World Series.

PART TWENTY:  WORLD SERIES GAME 5—BEHIND THE EIGHT BALL

Through four games, the 1997 World Series could not have been more opposite than the American League Championship Series that the Indians had just completed.

During the ALCS, the Indians managed to squeak by with four wins over the heavily favored Orioles despite having only 18 runs cross the plate in six games.  They pitched well in the clutch, limiting any damage that Baltimore could have done all series as well as playing solid defense.  The two teams combined for a hefty but not unreasonable 10 errors over the six ballgames.

The Fall Classic, however, was a different story.  The Tribe had scored a mind blowing 31 runs and had given up 25.  Both pitching staffs imploded when they got to the cold air of Cleveland and the defenses had played sloppy and poorly.  The Marlins and Indians had combined for an astonishing nine errors through the first four games.  Read More

Eighteen Crazy Nights—Looking back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians

October 22, 2014 | | One Comment

During the month of October DTTWLN will take a look back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians season—specifically the 18 thrilling games of the postseason as the Indians made an improbable run to game seven of the World Series.

PART NINETEEN:  WORLD SERIES GAME 4—THE ROOKIE HAS THE WRIGHT STUFF

On October 22, 1997, a frigid air mass pushed south from Canada.  It swept across Lake Erie as lake-effect snow covered Cleveland and the temperature plummeted to 38°.  Huge gusts howled through the downtown area and the wind-chill dropped to a numbing 15°.

It was abnormally cold in Northeast Ohio, as the average temperature for October 22 in Cleveland was a mild 58°.  As Game Four of the 1997 Fall Classic was about to begin, however, the stage was set for an infamous showdown between the Florida Marlins and the Cleveland Indians in what became the coldest World Series game in recorded history.

As the players took batting practice, heavy snow showers fell in the ballpark and turned Jacobs Field into a winter wonderland.  Christmas carols echoed throughout the stadium, as the Indians creative staff blared them over the public address system. Read More

Eighteen Crazy Nights—Looking back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians

October 21, 2014 |

During the month of October DTTWLN will take a look back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians season—specifically the 18 thrilling games of the postseason as the Indians made an improbable run to game seven of the World Series.

PART EIGHTEEN:  WORLD SERIES GAME 3—FOOTBALL WEATHER AND FOOTBALL NUMBERS

The city of Cleveland has long been a football town, but when Browns owner Art Modell moved his beloved franchise to Baltimore in 1995, the town turned to baseball as its #1 love.

The Indians were the talk of the town—the golden children now that the Browns were long gone.  In 1997, they were competing in their second World Series in three years and had come back from sunny Miami tied at 1-1 with the Florida Marlins.

Normally, an October 21st game that was played while the wind-chill was 23° would be reserved for the Cleveland Browns, but that was exactly what the Indians and Mother Nature brought to Jacobs Field for Game Three of the ’97 Fall Classic. Read More

Eighteen Crazy Nights—Looking back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians

October 19, 2014 |

During the month of October DTTWLN will take a look back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians season—specifically the 18 thrilling games of the postseason as the Indians made an improbable run to game seven of the World Series.

PART SEVENTEEN:  WORLD SERIES GAME 2—IT’S PRONOUNCED “OH-JAY”

Twice in the 1997 playoffs the Indians had lost Game One of a series, and twice they had come back to win Game Two.  If they were going to make it three in a row, however, they certainly had their work cut out for them.

The Indians were set to face right handed ace Kevin Brown in the second matchup of the World Series, and they could only counter with Chad Ogea…a pitcher left out of the playoff starting rotation originally.

Brown was in the prime of a fantastic career, was at the end of an All-Star season, and was only a year removed from a season where he finished second in the NL Cy Young Award voting.  Ogea, meanwhile, struggled to a 8-9 record with a 4.99 ERA during the regular season and had lost his only two starts of the playoffs.  Ogea was only known nationally for having a funny last name that nobody was really sure how to pronounce and for giving up a grand slam to the first batter he faced in the postseason in his lone ALDS relief appearance against the Yankees. Read More

Eighteen Crazy Nights—Looking back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians

October 18, 2014 |

During the month of October DTTWLN will take a look back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians season—specifically the 18 thrilling games of the postseason as the Indians made an improbable run to game seven of the World Series.

PART SIXTEEN:  WORLD SERIES GAME 1—THE SERIES NO ONE WANTED

Claire Smith of the New York Times called it “The Series No One Wanted”.

Bernie Lincicome of the Chicago Tribune said it’s “the worst winner from the American League meets the non-winner from the National League…a Series made in gimmick heaven.”

There were no New York Yankees.  No Atlanta Braves.  No Baltimore Orioles.

Missing was Derek Jeter.  And Greg Maddux.  And Barry Bonds.  And Ken Griffey.  And Cal Ripken.

It was just the pitching-deprived, Belle/Lofton-less, 86-win Cleveland Indians and “the best team free agency could buy” Florida Marlins that were facing off in the 1997 World Series.  It was Major League Baseball’s nightmare as two mid-market teams that few people outside of the states of Ohio and Florida cared about were taking their biggest stage.  Just three years removed from a strike that cancelled the ’94 Fall Classic, baseball could not afford a World Series that made people yawn. Read More

Eighteen Crazy Nights—Looking back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians

October 15, 2014 |

During the month of October DTTWLN will take a look back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians season—specifically the 18 thrilling games of the postseason as the Indians made an improbable run to game seven of the World Series.

PART FIFTEEN:  ALCS GAME 6—ONE FOR THE AGES

“There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.”

-John Lennon

As the Cleveland Indians started batting practice before their Game Six showdown with the Baltimore Orioles in the 1997 American League Championship Series, Manager Mike Hargrove figured that everything was where it was meant to be.

Bip Roberts, a key midseason acquisition, was leading off and playing second base.

Tony Fernandez, an offseason free-agent signing that had lost his regular playing time when the team traded for Roberts, was penciled in as a reserve player on the bench.

It was all set.  The regular lineup was ready to face Mike Mussina…the hottest pitcher on the planet. Read More

Eighteen Crazy Nights—Looking back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians

October 13, 2014 | | One Comment

During the month of October DTTWLN will take a look back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians season—specifically the 18 thrilling games of the postseason as the Indians made an improbable run to game seven of the World Series.

PART FOURTEEN:  ALCS GAME 5—BALTIMORE’S SPECIAL K’S

Game Five of the 1997 American League Championship Series was played on the evening of October 13 at Jacobs Field in Cleveland.  Baltimore’s starter for the evening, Scott Kamieniecki, had become a solid number four starter for the Orioles over the course of the regular season, but was left out of the starting rotation for their postseason run and had not made a start since a September 24th victory in Toronto.  Due to the large number of quality, veteran starters in Baltimore, Kamieniecki was put in the bullpen and his only appearance had been his three shutout innings in relief of Jimmy Key against the Indians in Game Two.

After Key struggled through his first couple starts of the playoffs, Baltimore Manager Davey Johnson decided to go with Kamieniecki rather than Key to start Game Five, a game that Baltimore needed to win.  The decision turned out to be a brilliant one for the Orioles, who were down three games to one and facing elimination for the first time all postseason. Read More

Eighteen Crazy Nights—Looking back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians

October 12, 2014 |

During the month of October DTTWLN will take a look back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians season—specifically the 18 thrilling games of the postseason as the Indians made an improbable run to game seven of the World Series.

PART THIRTEEN:  ALCS GAME 4—ALOMAR DELIVERS AGAIN

Through three games, the 1997 American League Championship Series was not shaping up to be anything that anyone thought that it would be.

During the regular season, the Cleveland Indians batted .286 as a team, third best in the American League and smashed 220 homeruns for second place in the Junior Circuit.  The Baltimore Orioles held baseball’s best record and averaged 5.01 runs per contests and only lost four games in which they held the lead after seven innings.

Yet, after three games, the Orioles entered Game Four batting a lowly .210 as a team with only eight runs scored in the series.  Not to be outdone, the Indians were batting a measly .160 and had only pushed seven runs across the plate in the ALCS. Read More

Eighteen Crazy Nights—Looking back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians

October 11, 2014 |

During the month of October DTTWLN will take a look back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians season—specifically the 18 thrilling games of the postseason as the Indians made an improbable run to game seven of the World Series.

PART TWELVE:  ALCS GAME 3—SQUEEZING OUT A VICTORY

In playoff baseball there are great games, amazing games, legendary games…and then there’s Game Three of the 1997 American League Championship Series.

Unbelievable is really the only word that sums up the game that was played at Jacobs Field on October 11, 1997.  It was arguably the most bizarre game in Cleveland Indians history and it was the scene for perhaps the most unimaginable finish in baseball history.

Heading into the game, the series between the Indians and the Baltimore Orioles was tied at one game apiece.  The first two contests were played in Baltimore, where the heavily favored Orioles took Game One in dominating fashion and the Tribe used an eighth inning homerun by Marquis Grissom to steal Game Two.  The series now shifted back to Cleveland, where the Tribe had played inconsistently all season long. Read More

Eighteen Crazy Nights—Looking back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians

October 9, 2014 |

During the month of October DTTWLN will take a look back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians season—specifically the 18 thrilling games of the postseason as the Indians made an improbable run to game seven of the World Series.

PART ELEVEN:  ALCS GAME 2—GRISSOM RIPS ‘EM

If the 1997 Cleveland Indians taught the baseball world anything, it was to always expect the unexpected.  All season long the Tribe had underperformed and not met expectations and the poster boy for the Indians lackluster play was centerfielder Marquis Grissom.

Grissom was acquired at the end of Spring Training with David Justice in a blockbuster deal that sent Indian legend Kenny Lofton and relief pitcher Alan Embree to the Atlanta Braves.  The trade was largely unpopular at the time, and over the course of the season only Justice’s All-Star performance allowed General Manager John Hart to show his face around Cleveland as Grissom continually failed to impress. Read More