A buddy of mine just celebrated his 30th birthday and one of the things he asked me for was an autographed baseball signed by his childhood hero, Albert Belle. Wow! How flattering that he put his hopes in me to grant him that birthday wish? The power that I had from that request was just overwhelming. To add to that, I just happened to be in Goodyear, Arizona the same day that Albert made his return to the Cleveland Indians (as an alumni, of course). If I could get Albert Belle, who has not had any communication with the Indians since he left in 1996, to sign a baseball for my friend–what a hero I would be! Just…wow! I would probably go down as the best friend of all time!
Didn’t happen though. Are you kidding me? I’m not doing that!
My job is to get autographed items to help grant charitable wishes, not the wish of a friend who has had 30 years to get the autograph himself. Is it my fault he never asked Albert to sign anything when he was one of the only 500 fans at the old Cleveland Stadium and players were signing anything that moved? I don’t need to be a hero, or your best friend. Here’s a baseball signed by me, Justin Sherman. Happy Birthday. (Please note: If you are interested in an autographed Albert Belle ball, we will have one to bid on at our Opening Day silent auction to benefit Cleveland Indians Charities on April 5. Section 153).
Speaking of autographs, I was recently down at the Indians Spring Training complex in Goodyear, Arizona coordinating our big “Signing Day.” During Signing Day, we have a little over 4,000 items (bats, balls, photos, jerseys, etc.) for the players to sign. The items signed will go to many different things over the course of the year depending on which front office department requested items, but the majority will go towards our donations to local charities/benefits as well as silent auction items for our own charity, Cleveland Indians Charities. Keeping with my amazing public speaking skills, I recorded a little something about Signing Day to give you a quick inside look at the process. As always, thank you to Dan Mendlik for taping and editing it together.
Today, January 16, I am celebrating my 5th year anniversary at the Cleveland Indians. Please…hold your applause. Normally I would have prepared a speech and had a little party after work, ask people to bring gifts and cash, and reflect back on the 5 years that have been. Unfortunately, I am not home in Cleveland around my favorite co-workers (you know who you are and who you aren’t). I am instead burdened with the task of going out to dinner and hanging out with Indians alums: Dave Burba, Mike Jackson, Brian Anderson, Chad Ogea, Len Barker and a few others. I’m stuck down in Arizona at the Cleveland Indians Spring Training Complex for the week instead of being able to enjoy the cold, snowy weather in Cleveland, Ohio. I have no choice but to get paid to entertain these former pro baseball players while they manage/entertain/teach campers all week for our Indians Fantasy Camp. Five years of working at the Indians and I’m
lucky unlucky enough to have to do this. Boy what I wouldn’t give to have a cool job.
I hope you picked up on the sarcasm because I was laying it on pretty thick. Are you kidding me? I love this! Cleveland Indians Fantasy Camp is going on this week down in Goodyear, Arizona and so far it is a blast! The camp is open to anyone (male or female) ages 30 years old and up. You can be 85 and still participate if you are able to! People come from all over the country to take part in this camp and basically live the life of a major league ball player (minus the ginormous salary, of course). The campers get to stay at a 5-star hotel, have breakfast and lunch at the Indians complex, be drafted onto teams which are managed by former Indians players, play in a tournament style set of games and have a championship game in the main ballpark.
The most important part about this camp is that all of the money raised here goes to Cleveland Indians Charities (CIC). Every night there is always a Kangaroo Kourt, where our judge and former Indians pitcher, Gary Bell, will fine the campers for doing things incorrectly or just downright stupid. Any money raised from the fines also goes to Cleveland Indians Charities. You should actually want to get fined because you know your money is going to a good cause.
So that is where I’m at this week celebrating my 5 year anniversary at this ball club. I may post one or two more updates on the week for my die-hard fans out there–which I’m calling the Sherman Screwballs. I will at least keep you posted on who wins the championship and how much money we end up raising. As always, thanks to Dan Mendlik for the picture (and future pictures from this week).