Monday, September 10, 2007

Tribe finally getting noticed

The Tribe made a first-in-a-long-time appearance on ESPN last night, topping the Angels to go 2-2 in the four game series and improve their record on the road trip to 5-2.

I guess the national media is starting to notice Cleveland and give them some credit, though I did hear one sports blabberer on the car radio in NY today say he thinks the Yankees are probably hoping Cleveland will end up with a better record than the Angels (they trail LA by one game right now) so the Yankees can play the Tribe in the first round of the playoffs (God I hope by some miracle the Tigers knock them out!!)

And so Rodney Dangerfield lives!

But the New York Times (through the A.P.) yesterday did give the Tribe some props - finally. The wire story picked up by the Times praised the Tribe for fighting through its struggles this year, and intimated the Tribe has the best starting rotation of any team likely heading into the playoffs. "Unmatched" is the word they used.

Just for good measure the Times ran another item on Cleveland baseball, in particular John Adams, the man with the drum. For some reason it's in the pay-to-view part of the Times Web site, so you can't get at this "exclusive" without a Times subscriiption. So I'll cut and paste it below.

Busy schedule tonight. Don't know if I'll be able to do a post of my own. Here's the story on John Adams:

Cheering Section

Heart of Indians Baseball Beats From the Cheap Seats


John Adams, a 55-year-old baseball fan from Brecksville, Ohio, said he received an invoice the other day for four Cleveland Indians playoff tickets, all in the top row of the left-field bleachers at Jacobs Field, right beneath the colossal scoreboard.

Should the Indians reach the playoffs — and their chances look better every day — two of the tickets will go to friends. Adams will use the third, and the fourth will ensure a spot for his weathered bass drum, probably the most famous drum in all of baseball.

Adams, a lifelong Indians fan, figures he has taken the drum, part of a $25 set, to all but 34 of the more than 2,500 home games the Indians have played since Aug. 24, 1973.

If the Indians are winning a game heading into the top of the ninth inning and if the veteran Kenny Lofton is playing the outfield, Lofton will try to hit Adams’s 26-inch-wide drum with a warm-up ball.

“I’ve never talked to him,” Adams said.

The drum, christened Big Chief Boom-Boom by the Indians announcer Herb Score not long after its debut at Municipal Stadium, has helped Adams meet a lot of other dignitaries, including senators and a Pakistani government official.

Adams, who works on computer systems for AT&T, has become a celebrity. The Indians gave out John Adams bobblearms dolls last year. He could surely get an upgrade for him and his drum, at least, but Section 182 Row Y Seats 28-29 will do.

“It’s my Fantasy Island,” he said. “It’s my getaway from the real world.”

Adams starts a drumbeat as the Indians take the field for the start of a game, but he picks his spots carefully after that: if the Indians have runners in scoring position, are tied or trailing late in a game, or are ahead in the top of the ninth.

He says he never beats his drum after a pitcher on either team sets his motion. That, he says, would be downright cheeky. Fans often clap along with his beat, and often this season, the Indians have rallied to win the kinds of games they might have lost in the past.

Adams was simply trying to whip up a little enthusiasm for a perennially beleaguered team that had fallen out of another pennant race when he took the drum into a $2 seat in the lower bleachers at Municipal Stadium for the first time.

The tradition almost died before it started.

“It was Date Night, and 16 people came and sat right in front of me,” he said. “A guy sitting in front of me said, ‘You’re not going to hit that thing, are you?’ ”

Adams had promised a police officer assigned to the bleachers that he would not bother anyone. But then, someone from the top row of bleachers — Section 55 — told him he could bang his drum up there. A reporter from The Cleveland Press noticed.

“One of his questions was, ‘Are you going to be there the next game,’ and I told him, ‘I don’t think so,’ ” Adams said.

But the newspaper reported that Adams would be returning, so he decided to give it one more shot. One game led to 2,500 more. On May 15, 1981, Adams and the drum were there when Cleveland’s Len Barker pitched a perfect game.

There have been other highlights. The Indians played in the World Series in 1995 and 1997, although they lost. It has been 59 years since the Indians won a World Series, more than a lifetime for Adams. He seems determined to stay on his beat.

“I don’t see myself as being anything extra special,” he said. “I’m just a sports fan — a tough sports fan. And anybody who’s a sports fan in Cleveland has to be tough.”--

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice win for the Tribe last night in Chicago. The finish line is within sight...