Cliff Note: This is a modified repeat of a post I wrote last year at this time. Yesterday was opening day for the Cleveland Indians who lost to the Texas Rangers. This is an account of a opening day 1982. My younger brother and I went to the game at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Our older half brother, Allen, gave us tickets for the game, which he had gotten for free as a carrier of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. I recently saw Allen for the first time on almost 10 years a week and a half ago. He is currently under hospice care.
We went to the home opener in 1982. It had snowed for several days and was cold this Saturday at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. It was a stadium that had a special air about it. You could smell it from a ways back. But it did have one thing. Major League Baseball.
It was the Cleveland Indians versus the Texas Rangers. The Indians were a very woeful team in those days. Some seasons they had decent pitching and no hitting. Other seasons they had fairly good hitting and no pitching. Front office would usually trade one for another. Those days the Indians were the farm team for the rest of baseball.
Texas won that game that day 8-3. Thank you baseball-almanac.com. The thing I do remember in the game was Buddy Bell hit two home runs that day. I also remember the fans were, for the most part, very boorish. As I had mentioned before, it had been snowing in the days preceding this ball game. The fans started getting bored and threw snowballs in the stands. I was sitting beneath a ramp going to the upper deck. Someone dropped a very cold cup of beer. I know it was cold because it hit me.
Sports talk show host Pete Franklin got on the fans the following week for relentlessly getting on Indians first baseman Andre Thornton. They were booing Thornton and chanting "We want Joe" meaning Joe Charboneau, already washed up 1980 American League Rookie of the Year.
Yeah, the tribe lost the game. I rode the rapid back to my parent's house cold, wet, and smelling of beer. But we were there for opening day.
Click here for box score of 1982 Opening Day, Cleveland Indians vs Texas Rangers.
This year's opening day wasn't a smashing success either for the tribe as Texas pleased their home crowd by shellacking Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee and beating the Indians 9-1.
Additional Cliff Note: I had the pleasure of meeting Joe Charboneau last June at the Rittman IGA. He was a really nice guy.