Lake County Captains to Host Bernie Kosar, “Super Joe” Charboneau, at Annual Cleveland Sports History Night on Saturday

On Saturday, the Lake County Captains will host one of their biggest promotions of the year, their annual Cleveland Sports History Night. Once a night every year, the Captains fill the ballpark with major sports figures from Cleveland’s past and promotions surrounding Cleveland sports, including the highly sought-after Jobu bobblehead.

Last year, fans lined up as early as 9:00 a.m. to claim the coveted promotional item that paid homage to Pedro Cerano’s worshipped spiritual leader from the movie “Major League.” This year, the first 1,500 fans will receive a Captains-themed Jobu bobblehead at the main gate only. The gates will open at 5:30 p.m. If fans was to guarantee a Jobu bobblehead, they cna purchase a VIP package for $55 that also includes a ticket to the game, early entry for celebrity autographs, and a limited edition Jobu t-shirt from Cleveland-based clothing company There are a limited number of VIP packages available, and those interested can call the Captains at 440.954.9467.

Throughout the years, the Captains’ Cleveland Sports History Night has been one of the largest draws to Classic Park. Not only does it give Captains fans the chance to interact with Cleveland sports greats, but the Captains themselves have the opportunity to meet some major sports icons and big names. Last year, Chelcie Ross of “Major League” was in attendance to throw out the first pitch, sign autographs, and pose for pictures throughout the game. Last year’s Cleveland Sports History Night was a finalist for Minor League Baseball’s promotion of the year, and the inaugural event, which was hosted in 2009, was named ESPN The Magazine’s Minor league Baseball Promotion of the Year.

This year, the Captains will welcome Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar to Classic Park for the first time, as well as former Cleveland Browns running backs Kevin Mack and Earnest Byner, who each rushed for 1,000 yards in the 1985 season for the Browns; former Cleveland Cavaliers stars Campy Russell and Elmore Smith; former Cleveland Indians outfielder and 1980 Rookie of the Year “Super Joe” Charboneau; current undefeated professional boxer and native Clevelander Antonio Nieves; and former Negro League player Ted Toles Jr. Along with the athletes, Cleveland Sports History Night will also bring a number of local authors to the ballpark who have written about the sporting history of Northeast Ohio. The authors include Michael Swank (Living on Borrowed Time: The Life and Times of Negro League Player Ted Toles Jr.), Scott Longert (The Best They Could Be: How the Cleveland Indians became the Kings of Baseball, 1916-1920), and fellow Did The Tribe Win Last Night author Jonathan Knight (The Making of Major League).

The Captains will also be wearing special jerseys during Cleveland Sports History Night to pay homage to the Cleveland Cavaliers teams of the mid-to-late 1980s. The jersey will be blue and orange, and the front of the jerseys will read “CAPS,” with the “P” incorporating a baseball into the letter, similar to the Cavs jerseys with a net and basketball featured in the letter “V.” The jerseys will be auctioned off after the game, with the proceeds benefitting Captains Charities.

In terms of baseball, the Captains have given fans a little more to watch at this point in the season than their big league partners, the Cleveland Indians.As a team, the Captains are batting .247 on the season and rank eleventh out of 16 in the Midwest League for the season. Their pitchers have compiled a team 3.63 ERA, putting them in the middle of the pack at 10 out of 16. The Captains are currently five games back of first in the Midwest League Eastern Division in the second half of the season with their 13-17 record. They finished five games back in the first half of the season, as well, with a 36-32 record. They were fourth in the Eastern Division in the first half and have fallen to sixth out of seven in the second half.

Photo: Lake County Captains

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