January 2011

Well I wear this net on my head, ’cause my red hair is fallin’ out…

Today was the first Indians in the Community event of 2011 and it went pretty well.  We started off small for the first event and had about 11 volunteers help out at St. Augustine Hunger Center in Cleveland.  The volunteers were members of the Cleveland Indians front office and their job was to prepare and serve lunch to the needy. 

Upon our arrival, we were told that we weren’t just going to assist preparing the food–but instead we were going to make it all ourselves!  The normal cook said she was going to “trust” us to prepare whatever we wanted.  She gave us about 15 tubes of ground beef (yes, they came in wrapped tubes) and a ton of sauce.  What else could we make, but some good ol’ spaghetti and meatballs.  We also added some potato soup, garlic bread and salad. 

Below is a picture so you can see that we actually were there with our hair nets on and everything! I now know what the Lunch Lady felt like in Adam Sandler’s song “Lunch Lady Land.” I didn’t hear any complaints on how the food tasted, so we must have done okay. 

The blog will take a small break before our next big Community Outreach adventure, but I may still post some Tribe-type things up here just to keep you all on your toes.

St. Augustine.jpg

I had to go East to go West…

Well after a couple of days without a blog update, I thought it would be about time.  I flew home from our Spring Training complex in Goodyear, Arizona on Sunday morning.  The flight had to take me from Phoenix to Philadelphia and then back to Cleveland.  I can’t figure out why they make you fly farther West to then go back East.  Anyway, here is a quick round up of the rest of how the Cleveland Indians Fantasy Camp went:

B.A.T.S and Killer B’s made it to the championship game with B.A.T.S winning the trophy.  It was a very close game all the way, but they edged out a win.  After the championship game on Thursday night, the campers had all of Friday to hang out and relax until the final banquet Friday night.  We held a raffle, a silent and a live auction.  All were pretty successful and raised over $14,000 for Cleveland Indians Charities.  Add that to our total of a little over $5,000 from Kangaroo Kourt fines and we had a pretty successful week.  There will be many happy youth baseball teams that, I’m sure, will appreciate the money. 

Now that Fantasy Camp is over, we can look towards our first Indians in the Community event being held tomorrow at the St. Augustine Hunger Center.  We will have about 12 front office employees headed over there from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm preparing and serving lunch to the less fortunate.  It should be a good time and I’ll hopefully have a picture that I can post up here (as soon as I figure out how to post pictures).  Stay tuned…


“No, but they do…and they’re the ones that write it off.”

Getting to the point of this and the last blog titles, it should be repeated once more that all of the proceeds from Cleveland Indians Fantasy Camp go straight to Cleveland Indians Charities.  I’m not just talking about the cost people pay to attend the camp (which campers could probably just write off–hence, the titles of the past two blogs). 

Each night we hold something called Kangaroo Kourt. And before you try to correct me, “Court” is spelled with a “K” for this word.  I can’t back that up, but every time I see it written on things down here it has a “K,” so we’ll stick with that.  Anyway, Kangaroo Kourt is a nightly occurence where we have a Judge (former player Gary Bell) and he fines different campers and Pros for stupid mistakes they had during the day.  There could be a $5.00 fine for someone who missed an easy pop-fly.  Or a $20.00 fine if you strikeout looking.  We even had a veteran camper who opted not to come to camp this year to instead go to Las Vegas and he was going to be fined $500.00 when he came back next year.  Oddly enough, he showed up to last night’s Kangaroo Kourt on his way in to Las Vegas, heard about the fine (even though it was more of a joke) and shelled out $500.00!

All of the fines go straight to Cleveland Indians Charities, so we like fining people.  Sitting in on the Kourts is one of the coolest things to see during camp–at least for me.  It amazes me how generous people are here.  The majority of the people donate more money than they are fined.  We had a guy that was fined $5.00 and he put in $30.  It is an awesome thing and for that, we thank the campers and the Pros (because they get fined just as much)!

Tonight is our last Kangaroo Kourt of the week because tomorrow starts the Pros vs. Campers game, the Playoffs and we have a little BBQ in the ballpark.  In case you are wondering, “Azcue’s Miscues” coached by Joe Azcue and Rick Waits are currently undefeated at 4-0 in their division (Heroes Division) and Mike Hargrove and Greg Swindell’s “Swindlers” are winning their division with a 3-1 record.

To my to readers of this blog, if you are interested in more information on Cleveland Indians Fantasy Camp for next year call our Fan Service department at 216-420-HITS.   

“You don’t even know what a write-off is, do you?”

Day 2 of Cleveland Indians Fantasy Camp is here.  Today’s high temperature is supposed to be 79 degrees.  The high temperature in Cleveland at Progressive Field, a sweltering 15 degrees and snow.

We’ll keep today’s entry short, only because I don’t have a lot of time today.

Last night at our “end of the night” meeting we paid a special tribute to Mr. Bob Feller.  A tribute video was shown following Bob’s life in the majors up until his last year at Fantasy Camp (January 2010).  All of the campers received special t-shirts for the occassion and a few other personal moments and tributes were shared.  I won’t discuss those, because those are the types of things that need to only be known to the campers and staff here.  It was a very nice night and I think Mr. Feller would have enjoyed it.  Actually, he probably would have been upset that all the commotion was for him when we could have been spending our time playing baseball.

As promised, I have the Pros’ names and the teams that they are managing for the week.  The games are going on as I type this.

Team #1:  The Big Saguaros are managed by “Super” Joe Charboneau and Rick Manning

Team #2: The Killer B’s are managed by Scott Bailes and Lenny Barker

Team #3: The Rhomburba’s are managed by Dave Burba and Kevin Rhomberg

Team #4: Azcue’s Miscues are managed by Joe Azcue and Rick Waits

Team #5: The Swindlers are managed by Mike “Grover” Hargrove and Greg “Zeke” Swindell

Team #6: The Rapid CD’s are managed by Dave Nelson and Chad Ogea

Team #7: B.A.T.S are managed by Brian Anderson and Pat Tabler

Team #8: Feller’s Fans are managed by Max Alvis and Cory Snyder

The Camp’s Overseers/Judges/Jokers are Gary Bell and Jim “Mudcat” Grant

So those are your Pros, ladies and gentlemen.  In addition to the former players being team managers, they will also play the campers at the end of the week in the Pros vs. Campers game.  I’ll try and get a picture or two of that catastrophe when I can!

Welcome To Fantasy Island…I mean Camp! Fantasy Camp.

We have begun day one of the Cleveland Indians Fantasy Camp, where all proceeds go to Cleveland Indians Charities.  The campers arrived to the hotel (Renaissance Hotel in Glendale) late last night and had a quick welcome banquet.  They were greeted with warm welcomes from the Pros–which are Indians alumni.  It’s fun to watch how excited these grown men are to play baseball for a week.  Of course, it is even more fun on day two to watch how sore and slow moving they are because they realize how out of shape they are!

Throughout the week, I will be updating this blog and hopefully have some exciting stories to tell.  So far today, they arrived at the complex, found out where their lockers are (the campers use the visitor’s locker room) and have started some clinics.  This afternoon they will be playing two games so that the Pros can get a look at how they play.  The Pros will then hold a secret draft, picking players that they think could win a championship by the end of the week.  It gets pretty competitive!

While here, the campers will live as close to how real ballplayers live as possible.  When they are driven to the camp they will have all access to the visitor’s clubhouse and have the Cleveland Indian’s clubhouse staff take care of them…just like the big leagues.  Their uniforms will be washed everyday, they have breakfast and lunch prepared by our in house food service staff and can even have as many sunflower seeds as they can handle. 

Once the campers find out what team they are on later tonight, they all go out to dinner as a team with their coaches (the Pros).  After dinner, we’ll have a quick meeting and a bull session or two and then bed.  Tomorrow, I will have a break down of what Pros we have here and what teams they are coaching.  The “season” games start tomorrow morning right after player photos take place.  I’ll keep you all posted! 

This is every man’s FANTASY!

Look at this!  Two entries in a week(ish)!  I feel like I’m already on a roll.  

Starting up this Saturday in the Cleveland Indians Charities world of the Cleveland Indians is our annual Fantasy Camp.  The camp runs from January 13 (campers fly in to the Indians Spring Training Complex in Goodyear, AZ) and finishes up on Friday, January 21.  All proceeds raised from the camp go straight to Cleveland Indians Charities. 

Basically, what you get are a bunch of guys who live out their dreams (or fantasy, if you will) of being a major league ballplayer.  For the entire week, these guys are treated just like the pros and compete in games, practices, drills, workouts, etc., all of which are led by Cleveland Indians alumni.  If you have never witnessed this camp, it is quite entertaining.  Some games get pretty intense and you really want to get out there and play baseball after watching them go at it all day.  Plus, hanging out with former pros is pretty cool too.

Luckily, yours truly will get to travel down to Goodyear this year for Fantasy Camp (to work, not play) and I’m hoping to give some blog updates as the week goes on.  Until then, be sure to check out our community page on www.indians.com You’ll be able to see what fun things we have planned for 2011. 

Please Allow Me to (Re)Introduce Myself…

Greetings All!

This blog has been asleep for quite some time now and, even when it was alive and kicking, it was updated only every so often.  My plan (and goal) is to change that with constant updates throughout the 2011 season.  And by constant updates, I mean whenever I get some new information to blog about. 

For those of you who are just reading this for the first time ever, allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Justin and I am the Coordinator of Community Outreach for the Cleveland Indians.  The purpose of this blog will be to keep you informed on everything that the Cleveland Indians do “Off the Field.”  We have an incredible outreach program and this blog will help get the word out on everything we have a hand in, from our Cleveland Indians KeyBank High Achievers Kids Club, to our Fill the House for Charity program and even into some Cleveland Indians Charities events that we put on as fundraisers.

I’m going to throw this out there right now (and you can pick it up if you want to) that I was in no way an English major in college.  When you read this blog, you will probably find numerous mistakes in my grammar and punctuation.  I especially love commas.  If you love writing and see that I am butchering it, feel free to comment; however, I can’t promise I will do anything about it.  My goal is to simply spread the news on what the Cleveland Indians do in the community. 

I think for the first entry of 2011, this is long enough.  Please stay tuned and check back often and I promise you won’t be disappointed.