In high school, I worked at the Cleveland Indians Team Shop at what was then Jacob’s Field. It was the height of the mid-1990’s Indians: winning games, a record-breaking sell-out streak, and such passion and enthusiasm for the Cleveland Indians. I hadn’t seen that kind of excitement for the Indians until these past two seasons.
The Indians set an American League record by winning 22 games in a row through September. My mom and I took my son to win #21 of the streak.
I was reminded of a time in high school when Mom snuck me out of school to go to an Indians playoff game (sorry, Sisters Mary Pat and Carolyn).
It’s not just the game itself. There is something magical about this Indians team. The players really inspire love from the fans. When my son plays t-ball in the backyard, he pretends to be “Mr. Frankie” (Francisco Lindor, who he also calls “the guy who smiles a lot”) and “Mr. Eddie” (Edwin Encarnacion, whose bird wing Jeffrey likes to imitate).
Seeing this Indians season through Jeffrey’s eyes has made me even bigger of a Cleveland baseball fan: the players that spark devotion; the win streak that caught the attention of the nation; the cohesiveness and effort that the team showed every night.
And while the season ended sooner than we would have liked, when viewed through the eyes of my son, it’s the season that made him fall in love with baseball. He also learned to say, “They tried their best.” That’s certainly true. The Cleveland Indians had an incredible, exciting season that I for one am nothing but grateful for being able to see.