You know how when you were growing up and the cool thing to do was to have a fern? Remember begging your mom and dad to buy you one and when they finally caved in and did it, you got too busy with other stuff and ignored the fern until it began to wilt? And then once you noticed the fern was starting to wilt, you just gave it a bunch of plant food and doused it with water to catch up for what you missed when you were too busy. What I’m getting at is that this blog has been my childhood fern. I got crazy busy in April and the first part of May and am now giving it a bunch of information to catch people up on what we are doing.
So what have we been up to since the last post? Here is a quick recap:
UMPS CARE Charities–a couple of times a year, the Cleveland Indians team up with Major League Baseball and its umpires to bring in a select group of kids that get to meet the umpires prior to a game. The kids can ask the umpires questions, get their autographs and take a few pictures while down on the warning track behind homeplate.
The Dream Foundation–On Sunday, May 6, the Cleveland Indians partnered with The Dream Foundation to make a dream come true for one patient. The Dream Foundation’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for individuals and their families who are battling life-threatening illness. Indians’ pitcher Justin Masterson stopped by to talk to the family and offer some words of support and Indians outfield Shin-Soo Choo also stopped by to take some photos and signed and gave the family the bat he used for batting practice that day.
Tribe Reporter for a Day–The Cleveland Indians and The Plain Dealer partnered once again for their annual Tribe Reporter for a Day event on May 9. The event allows 25 local, aspiring, high school journalists to come down to Progressive Field and experience a ‘day in the life of a sports reporter.’ The young journalists started their afternoon by visiting the Indians Social Suite and talking with the Assistant Director of Communications for the Cleveland Indians, then made their way down to the Press Interview Room to sit in on Manny Acta’s press conference. After the conference, Manny hung around to let the students ask him a few questions.
From here, they spoke with The Plain Dealer’s sports writer Paul Hoynes who gave them valuable tips and words of wisdom in regards to sports writing. The event was capped with the reporters’ very own press conference with Indians pitchers Chris Perez, Nick Hagadone and Josh Tomlin. The journalists even had an assignment given to them with a deadline! They had to write about their experience and submit it to The Plain Dealer by the very next day!
All in all, it has been a productive April and early May. We’ve got our Cleveland Indians Charities Friday night auction coming up on May 18, followed by our Wives Association’s Tribe Treasure auction on May 19. Gotta keep my fern alive, so more posts to come in the near future!
Since December 15, 2010 there have been numerous articles and stories and blog entries telling the life and times of the great Bob Feller. All of those had personal touches by the writers sharing their memories of Bob–whether they were memories from afar (watching him pitch in games), or memories up close with him (interviews, meet and greets, work related, etc.). This entry will start off no different. This is not because I lack creativity, but because I feel a sense of pride and honor that I actually have some up close memories with one of the best pitchers in baseball. Below is just one of them:
My first meeting with Bob was simply as a fan. When I was a little kid, my dad passed down a baseball that was signed by some guy named Bob Feller in 1962 (the date is written under the autograph). Not knowing anything about baseball at the time, I thought it was cool but had no idea who this guy was and why my dad thought it was a big deal for me to put it in a safe place. I did as I was told and forgot about the ball. After growing up and learning the game, I eventually learned who Bob Feller was and the “coolness” of the baseball grew.
In college, we went down to Winter Haven, Florida (apparently we thought Winter Haven was the spring break capital of the world instead of Daytona Beach–we were quite mistaken)! I heard that Bob Feller was signing autographs, so after a while I made my way down to his picnic table. He was just getting up and had finished signing. As polite as I could, I said, “Mr. Feller…can I please get your autograph on this ball?” He quickly replied, “I’m done signing for the day. Next time get here on time,” and he walked away. It was quickly made clear that Bob did what he wanted and if he was done…he was done.
Years later, I began working with the Indians and worked a few months down in Spring Training (Winter Haven) and Bob was a frequent visitor. Since I had met him a few times before at the front offices, I thought I would take a chance and bring up the story of when I had first met him (and how he denied my autograph request). Once he heard me tell the story, he said without cracking a smile, “I don’t remember that, but hopefully that taught you to get to places on time.” The next day, he stopped in the office and left an autographed photo on my desk of him pitching to Joe DiMaggio. I have it kept right next to the ball my dad gave me years before.
Today, there was a special ceremony held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights to celebrate the life of Robert William Andrew Feller. The ceremony was open to anyone. Chris Perez, Shin Soo Choo, Justin Masterson, Sandy Alomar Jr., Manny Acta, Mike Hargrove, are just some of the Indians front office staff/players that attended.
Governor John Kasich, Jeff Idelson (President of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum), Bill Tunnell (representing the Battleship USS Alabama) and Larry Dolan all spoke at the ceremony. Sports Time Ohio filmed the event and will air it tonight at 6:00 pm.
At 92 years old, there is no doubt that every Cleveland fan has a memory that involves Rapid Robert. He was a local icon, a baseball legend and a national hero and everytime we watch a baseball game, he will always be in our hearts.