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).
Alright, well I know my entry title is about football, but I think I could still tie it in to what the entry is about. It will definitely be a stretch, so just go with it.
Tonight is the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission’s Cleveland Sports Awards. This is a great evening where the Sports Commission recognizes local athletes for their great performances over the past year. They range from high school to college to pro athletes. Our very own Shin-Soo Choo is up for Pro Athlete of the Year. He is up against the Browns’ Joe Thomas and Josh Cribbs (see, there is one tie in to the entry title already!).
Another nice thing that will occur tonight at the Sports Awards is the recognition of the 1995 and 1997 World Series teams. Making appearances from those teams tonight will be Chad Ogea, Brian Anderson, Manager Mike Hargrove, recent Indians Hall of Fame inductee Kenny Lofton and soon-to-be 600 home run hitter (hopefully), Jim Thome! These guys will get a special introduction, have some questions thrown their way and a special tribute video of those crazy World Series years.
In case you were thinking about it, yes, that is my other tie in to the entry title. Although, instead of “Back in ’82” it should be “Back in ’97” and instead of “I used to be able to throw a pigskin…,” we should probably change it to “Ogea used to be able to throw a fastball…” Either way, I wanted the quote up there for the title, so it stays!
So hopefully we see some of you at the awards banquet. It’s a great night and good to see the old ’90’s teams getting recognized again in the community!