While the offseason has been historically slow and the winter has crawled along at an even slower pace, we at Did The Tribe Win Last Night look ahead to the warmer days of the 2018 season by remembering Tribe players past and present.
Countdown to Opening Day – 88 days
If you have a hard time remembering who Rene Gonzales was or when and where he played, don’t fret. His stay in Cleveland was short, but in his time on the shores of Lake Erie, he earned a special claim to fame by becoming the first Cleveland player to don the number 88 on his back in a Major League game.
I generally try not to reveal my age to others in any facet of my life, but in composing the following, I had to tip my hand a bit.
This week marks 28 years (!) since the Cleveland Indians dealt fan favorite Joe Carter to the San Diego Padres for two prospects and a bit of a veteran journeyman. It would be the start of great things for the Indians organization – something seldom experienced when a perennial basement-dwelling team trades away its most productive player – but it reshaped my understanding of the game of baseball and made a decade of losing worth it during the glory years of the ’90’s.
Despite a legitimate scare in the ninth, the Cleveland Indians hold on to defeat the Atlanta Braves, 5-4, in Game 5 of the World Series to delay their season’s end by one more game. It was the final game to be played at Jacobs Field that season with a total of 43,595 in attendance for the two hour and 33 minute contest.
Tuesday night, the National Basketball Association opens its 2017-18 regular season schedule as the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Boston Celtics in a game that has much more meaning than the usual opening night game.
The Cavs and Celtics have become rivals over the course of the last few years, with Cleveland knocking Boston out of the playoffs twice in the last three seasons. The two clubs went toe-to-toe in the Eastern Conference Finals last year, with the Cavs winning that series, four games to one, to send Cleveland to its third straight NBA Finals. As many remember, that trip did not end nearly as well as the previous season, when the Cavs gave the city of Cleveland its first championship since 1964 with the first title in franchise history, leaving the Indians as holders of the longest active championship drought in the city.
While the Cavs will begin their defense of three straight Eastern Conference titles, the game’s real emphasis will be on the return of star guard Kyrie Irving to Quicken Loans Arena, where the former first overall pick in 2011 spent the first six years of his NBA career in Cavs’ wine and gold before demanding a trade in the offseason. The Cavs front office honored that request, sending its second-best player to a rival club, but may have, possibly, become a more well-rounded club in the process. That remains to be seen, as the results will play out over the course of the largely meaningless 82-game NBA schedule over the next six months.
The American League Championship Series gets under way at the Kingdome in Seattle as the Mariners host the Cleveland Indians, hot off of an ALDS sweep of the Boston Red Sox. Their winning ways run out as they drop a 3-2 decision to the Mariners for their first playoff loss since 1954.
Postseason baseball makes its triumphant return to Cleveland after a 41-year hiatus and Indians fans get plenty of extra baseball as the Tribe walks off with a 5-4 win over the Boston Red Sox courtesy of a 13th inning home run from Tony Pena.
Do you believe in magic? The magic was back again at Jacobs Field for the second time in three games, as Albert Belle’s grand slam off of All-Star reliever Lee Smith in the bottom of the ninth sends the Indians home with a 7-5 walk-off victory over the California Angels.