Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Classic Post: Opening Day Not Quite the Same

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 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.


Karen said...

Wixy, the beer thing is right out of a movie huh? Fortunately, I've never had that happen. Pat and Kenz are going to see the Reds on Saturday. I will be enjoying a nice quiet day to myself. We used to go watch the Columbus Clippers. They liked to involve the crowd which always made it lots of fun (Columbus Clippers ring your bell)!

74WIXYgrad said...

Now the Columbus Clippers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Indians. I may have to go there for a game.

Pat Jenkins said...

my fondest memory of municipal stadium.... near the end of the season. angels in town. fan appreciation day. my uncle and i walk up to the ticket window 10 minutes before first pitch, and we find seats 10 rows behind the first base dugout thanks to the sparse crowd! oh how i loved nobody going so i could have have a "prime" location. (a little footnote, somebody ended up winning a car a few seats away from us!).... and the clips have a new ballpark to pay for so the "fun" of a cheap day at the game may be going the way of municipal stadium!

clean and crazy said...

awe, i haven't been to a baseball game in years. Fact we went to the Dodgers game and they lost to Pittsburgh I think, and ol' Tommy Lasorta was still managing to yell at the umps!! so it has been a while. My father told me a story once about my grandmas house, which used to sit where Dodgers stadium is. Grandma, or abuelita, didn't trust banks so she buried her money in mason jars behind the house. When the great city of Los Angeles decided a ball park would be better then a Mexican neighborhood they bought grandmas house and to this day my aunts and uncles, my father if he were alive, swear to me that there are still probably 10 mason jars full of money buried somewhere under that stadium!!
I should take up watching sports again, i lost my passion when daddy passed away. thanks for the post.

coltfan said...

great post cliff . I am more a football man myself lol.