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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | July 27, 2021

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18 Crazy Nights

Eighteen Crazy Nights—Looking back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians

October 8, 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 TEN:  ALCS GAME 1—THE BRADY BUNCH

Just two days after the upstart and underdog Indians defeated the hated New York Yankees in the American League Division Series, they turned their attention to another foe from the American League East—the division champion Baltimore Orioles.

The O’s had worked over the American League all season en route to the league’s best record (98-64) and the second best record in all of baseball.  For the entire season and certainly heading into the playoffs, the Orioles were the heavy favorite to win the American League pennant.  Read More

Eighteen Crazy Nights—Looking back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians

October 6, 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 NINE:  ALDS GAME 5—GOODBYE, NEW YORK

The Cleveland Indians beating the New York Yankees is like Luke Skywalker defeating Darth Vader.

It’s like Rocky Balboa knocking out Ivan Drago.

It’s like the 13 Colonies defeating Great Britain.

Beating the Yankees is awesome.

Beating the Yankees is better than beating the Mariners, the Orioles or even the Red Sox.  It’s like when the Browns beat the Steelers or when Ohio State beats Michigan…it doesn’t matter how many wins they have just as long as they win the big one.

Heading into 1997, however, the thought of the Indians getting the best of the Yankees was more of a fantasy than a reality. Read More

Eighteen Crazy Nights—Looking back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians

October 5, 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 EIGHT:  ALDS GAME 4—SANDY SAVES THE SEASON

On October 4, 1988, the Los Angeles Dodgers hosted the New York Mets for Game One of the National League Championship Series.  Starting for LA was their eventual Cy Young Award winning ace, Orel Hershiser and opposing him was the Mets former Cy Young winner Dwight “Doctor K” Gooden.

Both pitchers were masterful, as Gooden allowed just two earned runs in seven innings of work and Hershiser also gave up two in just over eight.  Both pitchers earned a no-decision in the contest, but it was Gooden’s Mets who squeaked out a come-from-behind 3-2 win against the Dodger bullpen.  Hershiser and the Dodgers got the last laugh, however, as Los Angeles won the pennant and eventually the championship as Hershiser was named MVP of both the NLCS and the World Series.

Fast forward nine years and one day to October 5, 1997 and Gooden and Hershiser found themselves matching up against each other again.  Hershiser was starting for the underdog Cleveland Indians, who were trailing two games to one in the best of five American League Division Series, and Gooden took the mound for the defending World Champion Yankees who were trying to advance to the ALCS for the second year in a row. Read More

Eighteen Crazy Nights—Looking back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians

October 4, 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 SEVEN:  ALDS GAME 3—YANKS LOWER THE BOOMER

As William Shakespeare would have put it, the bedlam that led up to Game Three for the Yankees and Indians American League Division Series was, “Much Ado About Nothing.”

The Yankees (being the golden children of national television) were making headlines across the country with Manager Joe Torre’s indecision on who to start against the Indians in Game Three.  The debate had been going on for weeks as candidates David Wells, Kenny Rogers, Dwight Gooden and Ramiro Mendoza all failed to impress down the stretch.

Wells was the frontrunner (and ultimately the decision) because as late as August 18 “Boomer” had a record of 14-5 with a 3.60 ERA.  The big lefthander seemed to tire and fade down the stretch, however, as he lost his next five consecutive starts and pitched very poorly in his sixth.  Even after he won his final two decisions to end the season with a 16-10 record, doubt was in the minds of the Yankees and their fans. Read More

Eighteen Crazy Nights—Looking back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians

October 2, 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 SIX:  ALDS GAME 2—WRIGHT BACK TO EVEN

With the Indians trailing 1-0 in the 1997 American League Division Series, all hope was fading in the city of Cleveland.  The New York Yankees were the heavy favorites and came back to win a historic game on the strength of back-to-back-to-back homeruns by Tim Raines, Derek Jeter and Paul O’Neill.  The three consecutive blasts were the heartbreakers, but what hurt even more was the fact that the Indians held leads of 5-0 and 6-1 in that game.

For Game Two, the Indians had to face New York’s third-year ace Andy Pettitte and countered with 21 year old rookie Jaret Wright.  With such a young and inexperienced starter, Cleveland fans were wary that the possibility of returning to Jacobs Field down 2-0 was a real possibility.

“I would be (wary),” Tribe Manager Mike Hargrove said in a ’97 article from the New York Times, “if the rookie wasn’t Jaret Wright. I have yet to see him intimidated by any situation he’s been in.  I compare him to a very young Roger Clemens.  That’s the mentality, that’s the aggressiveness.  Now, whether or not he continues on, that’s up to Jaret.” Read More

Eighteen Crazy Nights—Looking back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians

September 30, 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 FIVE:  ALDS GAME 1—THOSE DAMN YANKEES

As the 1997 Cleveland Indians were set to open their third straight postseason, pessimism around the town was spreading like wildfire.  “(Expectations going into the playoffs were) very minimal,” Indians radio play by play man Tom Hamilton said.  “I felt, based on what I had seen all season long, there was no reason to think that this ball club was going to have a special October.”

Up first for the club were the Wild Card winning and longtime Cleveland-nemesis New York Yankees.  The Yanks finished the regular season with a record of 96-66, two games behind the American League East champion Baltimore Orioles and winners of 13 of their last 16 games.  The Yankees were the 1996 World Series Champions and boasted a roster full of superstars.  Needless to say, the Yanks were heavy favorites over the inconsistent Indians.

Heading into game one of the best of five series, Indians Manager Mike Hargrove decided to go with a three man pitching rotation instead of four.  Playoff veteran Orel Hershiser would pitch game one and game four (if necessary), rookie Jaret Wright would pitch game two and five (if necessary) and Charles Nagy would pitch game three.  The Yankees also elected to go with a three man rotation, sending David Cone out for games one and four, Andy Pettitte in games two and five and David Wells in game three. Read More

Eighteen Crazy Nights—Looking back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians

September 29, 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 FOUR:  THREE-PEAT

The second half of the 1997 regular season started out with some disappointment, had optimism in the middle and ended with pessimism.

Directly after the memorable All-Star break, the Indians embarked on a road trip that would send them to Minnesota, New York and Milwaukee.  All eyes were on Sandy Alomar, who had a 30 game hitting streak on the line, one game away from tying Nap Lajoie’s franchise record of 31 set 91 years prior.  Unfortunately for Alomar, the Tribe was set to face one of the hottest pitchers in baseball for his first try—Minnesota’s Brad Radke.

Radke came into the game a winner in his last six starts.  He was in the middle of a career year (he finished with a 20-10 record) and was one of the lone bright spots on the rebuilding Twins roster.  Alomar struck out twice against Radke and grounded out to third.  With the Tribe trailing 8-2 with two outs in the ninth, Sandy had one more chance against Twins reliever and former Indian Greg Swindell.  Swindell got Alomar to pop up a ball to third and suddenly the game and the streak were over.  Alomar finished his 30 game tear batting .422 with two homeruns and 16 RBI.

Read More

Eighteen Crazy Nights—Looking back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians

September 28, 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 THREE:  HOMETOWN HERO

The 1997 All-Star break was more than just a meaningless, exhibition baseball game for the city of Cleveland.  It was days of festivities that engulfed the downtown area and brought positive, national attention to the great city.  The game itself brought some of the biggest names that the game has ever seen into town, but it was all of the “extras” that packed the downtown streets and bars to capacity.

In the days prior to the game, Cleveland featured an All-Star Gala at The Powerhouse at The Nautica Entertainment Complex, the Pinnacle All-Star FanFest at the Cleveland Convention Center and a celebrity softball game and an All-Star workout at Jacobs Field followed by batting practice.  Following both squads batting practices were the “main events” of the pregame festivities as the first ever Rookie Homerun Derby and the All-Star Homerun Derby took place on Monday afternoon.

Boston rookie Nomar Garciaparra highlighted the “Rookie Derby” by blasting three homeruns and earning his way into the “regular” Homerun Derby.  Competing against the Boston shortstop were some of the bigger sluggers in baseball.  Colorado’s Larry Walker, Houston’s Jeff Bagwell and Atlanta’s Chipper Jones highlighted the National League side, as Oakland’s Mark McGwire, Seattle’s Ken Griffey, Jr., and Cleveland’s hometown-boy Jim Thome represented the favorites for the American League. Read More

Eighteen Crazy Nights—Looking back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians

September 27, 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 TWO:  FASTEN YOUR SEATBELT

By Steve Eby

The 1997 regular season started on April 2nd as the Indians traveled to Oakland to face the Athletics.  The game was the first Opening Day that the Indians had played on the road since the opening of Jacobs Field in 1994.

The lineup card that Manager Mike Hargrove filled out certainly was different, as Kenny Lofton, Albert Belle, Carlos Baerga and Eddie Murray were all missing and replaced with Marquis Grissom, David Justice, Kevin Mitchell and Matt Williams.  The new-look Tribe did not take long to show that their new lineup was just as potent as the old, however.

The Indians out-slugged the A’s to a final score of 9-7, as the Tribe used homeruns from Mitchell, Justice and Jim Thome to put their record at 1-0.  Justice’s blast was the big one, a two run shot in the top of the seventh that broke a 6-6 tie, in his debut for Cleveland. Read More

Eighteen Crazy Nights—Looking back at the 1997 Cleveland Indians

September 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 ONE:  LOWERED EXPECTATIONS

By Steve Eby

Heading into the 1997 baseball season, expectations for the Cleveland Indians were as low as they had been in years.  After two years of dominating the American League Central Division, cruising to 199 regular season victories, two trips to the post-season and a 1995 American League pennant, the Tribe was supposed to take a major step back and fall back to reality and into a pennant chase.

The roster coming into ’97 did not have the fire power of the previous two years.  Eddie Murray was traded away in July of 1996 and Carlos Baerga was shipped away a week later.  Jeromy Burnitz was dealt in August and Dennis Martinez and Tony Pena were let go at the end of the season.  During the offseason, Albert Belle signed a massive free agent contract with the Chicago White Sox and the Tribe traded Jeff Kent, Jose Vizcaino, Julian Tavarez and Joe Roa to the San Francisco Giants.

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