“I believe it’s jogging or yogging. it might be a soft j. I’m not sure but apparently you just run for an extended period of time. It’s supposed to be wild.”
Eighteen years ago I got into this “runner craze” that was taking over. I shouldn’t say it was taking over because in actuality I was probably in the minority choosing running as my sport instead of football or baseball or basketball. I like to say that running was only for the cool kids back then. I mean, I run and how cool am I? I had one famous runner to look up to (Steve Prefontaine) instead of having to worry about remembering all of those other big sport athletes’ names like Michael Bird of the Boston Bulls or Brett Montana of the famous Green Bay 49ers.
As I grew older and got out of school, I noticed that all of the people who used to make fun of us cool runner kids were actually starting to run themselves (I was definitely ahead of my time with this sport and knew it would take off one day). Guys who used to play football were now running 30 or 40 miles a week. Lazy people from my school are now running in the same road races as I do! It got me thinking…what if there was a race that was not only competitive, but also enjoyable for all of those former football, baseball and basketball players who have now taken up running? A race where Joe Fan and Lazy Larry could get a workout in, while at the same time experience something that not many people get to experience (and I’m not talking about Runner’s Nirvana).
My quest to create such a race came full circle on July 15, 2012 when Cleveland Indians Charities, Cleveland Browns Foundation and the Cavaliers Youth Fund joined forces for the first time ever and put on the Inaugural FANtastic 4-Miler! The race, presented by the Cleveland Clinic Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute, took runners into Cleveland Browns Stadium and around the football field, into the “Q” Arena across the Cavs court area and finished on the warning track of Progressive Field. All proceeds were split between the three sports teams’ charitable foundations.
The race sold out at 1,000 runners. We saw the overall male and female runners finish in 20:41 (Mike Capriolo) and 23:22 (Kelly Green). The overall winners received an experience package from each team and the top 3 winners in each age group received either a pair of Indians, Browns or Cavs tickets.
The race drew the likes of former Indians pitcher and Sports Time Ohio pregame host, Jason Stanford, and his fellow STO co-workers Dave Chudowsky and Katie Witham. All three competed in the race, while Browns alumni Reggie Langhorne and Cavs alumni Campy Russell cheered on the runners from the sidelines.
Of course, for the non-runners out there, the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital stepped up and sponsored a post-race family walk around the warning track. It was a nice way for the runners and their families to cool down, burn some calories and share their race stories while walking around Progressive Field!
Congratulations to all the participated and thank you to all of the sponsors who helped make this race a success!
West Side Story
I grew up on the east side of Cleveland (what up 440!?) in a great town called Burton. If you ever go there, don’t expect to see a stop light, because we don’t have one. Don’t expect to see shopping plazas or public transportation vehicles either (expect maybe an Amish taxi or two). If you want to got to see a movie, grocery shop or anything entertaining you have to drive at least 20 minutes–we call it ‘going into town.’ Yes, we Burtonians are far away from the craziness that is the real world and that’s what I love about it. If it wasn’t for Burton, I probably wouldn’t really argue over the age-old question of which is better: the east side or the west side?
Currently, I live on the west side (get over yourself 216, my phone number still is 440). I went to college on the west side and then kind of got stuck out this way. I like the people and it is nice to only drive 2 minutes to Target or the mall or McDonald’s. I also like that it is only a 13 minute drive to work here at Progressive Field. It makes life a lot easier if you want to do anything. Unfortunately, my heart belongs to the east side and hopefully within the next year or two, I will make my way back to settle down and raise some kin (and a little more cain) of my own there.
What does the above story have to do with what the Indians did in the community? Absolutely nothing. I just needed a story to tell that mentions the west side. Kind of a lame transition into my summary about how the Indians volunteered at the West Side Boys and Girls Club the other day. You people will read anything!
On Monday, members of the Cleveland Indians front office went to hang out at the West Side Boys and Girls Club. They helped the members with homework, played basketball, ping-pong and shot some pool with them. Slider even made a visit to the club, which seemed to excite the kids more than having us there.
The club is open for the kids from 3:00pm to 7:00pm every day so they can come straight from school if they want. In order to be a member, the parent has to fill out an application and, of course, there are rules that the kids have to follow when they are there. Dinner is provided for the kids if they want it (which the Indians brought pizza and pop–sorry healthy food people).
It is truly an amazing thing to talk with some of these kids. Some of their stories are pretty intense and it boggles my mind the things that they have to deal with on a daily basis. The Boys and Girls Club keeps them on the right track and they all seem to enjoy being there. You’ll see the older kids helping out the younger kids with homework, or teaching them how to play games. They all seem to watch out for each other and that is one of the many reasons the Cleveland Indians are proud to support The Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland. We plan on seeing all of these kids more throughout the season as we invite them down to games and events!
“Da Plane! Da Plane!”
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).
Lunch Lady Land
Welcome back to my blog! I say that as if you people left me and are just now coming back, when in reality I know that you didn’t really leave me. You just realized that there weren’t any new blog posts since the beginning of December 2011 and there was no reason to come back until now. One could blame me for the lack of blog posts. I blame the Indians for giving me so many vacation days in a one year period and having such a busy schedule from January through November that I can’t actually use them until the last month of the year so they just pile up and I take them all at once! That was quite a run-on sentence there, eh?
Anyway, I’m back now and that is all that matters, really.
I’m here to share with you the Indians first Indians in the Community of 2012. Once again we kick started our year of volunteering at the St. Augustine Hunger Center in Cleveland. We had about 14 members of the Indians Front Office help prepare and serve lunch on January 11. We did anything from peeling potatoes, to cutting up peppers and onions, to re-stocking their food pantry. We then worked on the buffet line and served the customers their lunch. The meal was a pretty square meal including Italian sausage in cooked vegetables, mashed potatoes, salad, green beans, beef soup, bread, and a nice little piece of cake for dessert.
It was great to share some laughs with the customers of the Hunger Center and some of us even shared some tears–not with the people but more so with the onions as we cut them up (pause for laughter)!
The Hunger Center opened it’s doors over 30 years ago and is part of the St. Augustine Church. For those that are wondering, the Hunger Center does not only provide meals, but also addresses other needs of the poor and the homeless such as: food, clothing, emergency funding for rent and utilities, furniture, appliances as well as advocating for those poor seeking medical help.
They are always accepting of donations and, from our experience there, are in definite need of potato peelers, napkins, and plastic silverware to name a few things!
Thank you to all employees who volunteered as well as Dan Mendlik for taking the photos.
“What’s for dinner? Chicken or…Chicken?”
When I lived down in Winter Haven, Florida back in 2007 as the Indians Spring Training Marketing Coordinator, I had the chance to swing by Universal Studios with my girlfriend to enjoy some amusement park fun. We were standing in line for one of the rides, I believe the “Twister” ride–if you want to call it a ride, and there was a woman eating a giant chicken leg!
It was probably the funniest thing I had ever witnessed while people watching. She was just standing in line with the big drumstick, gnawing on it like a lion gnaws on a baby gazelle. Can you picture that? She didn’t care that the sauce from the giant drumstick was smeared all over her face because she was on vacation and she was enjoying herself. Standing next to her in line, I felt like my arteries were getting clogged! To me, that was a whole lot of chicken…
The Cleveland Indians recently partnered with Tyson Foods and Lift Up America for a food drive. Tyson Foods donated over 31,000 pounds of meat (mostly chicken) to help feed local food agencies. With help from The Cleveland Food Bank, 28 food agencies swung by Progressive Field and picked up their portion of meat. Prior to the pick up, a press conference was held on Gateway Plaza to announce the news. Volunteers from the Baldwin-Wallace football team, Cleveland Metro School District as well as Indians outfielder Trevor Crowe, Pitcher Josh Tomlin and 2nd baseman Cord Phelps were on hand to help load the trucks with food.
31,000 pounds…now THAT is a whole lot of chicken!
You’ve Just Been #LouMar’d!!
Not quite sure what the title of this entry means? Well then you aren’t on Twitter and you definitely don’t follow any of the Indians players. A couple hundred Indians fans were #LouMar’d on Sunday and probably didn’t even realize it as it was happening and that’s just the way Lou Marson likes it.
Where did this happen, you ask? At a post game autograph session.
The autograph session was for any fan who donated a glove for the Cleveland Indians and KeyBank Glove Drive that ran throughout the season. The concept was simple, you donated a glove and received a free ticket to the August 28th game, as well as a pass into the autograph session. Matt LaPorta, Carlos Santana and Vinnie Pestano were also on hand signing for fans. As always, thanks goes out to these 4 guys for making sure every fan got an autograph…and #LouMar’d.
The season long (almost) glove drive brought in over 800 gloves which will be donated to the Cleveland Baseball Federation–helping kids play the game of baseball. The Baseball Tomorrow Fund was also on hand at the game and presented Cleveland Baseball Federation a check for $5,000 in honor of Justin Masterson for all of the work he does in the community and for his efforts during the glove drive.
Bic It, Masterson!
Back in my days as a Berkshire Badger (high school and mascot) cross-country runner, my team used to do some crazy stuff with our hair. Partially to psyche out the competition, partially because we were ranked 2nd in the state, a little because we had nothing better to do, but mostly because we looked freakin’ sweet when we did it. We had anything from mohawks one year, to long hair the next and even shaving our heads for our conference championship (which we won). When I say we shaved our heads…we shaved them down to the skin. Bic it, is what we called it, because we would use a Bic razor to get that nice, close shave. If I ever find a picture of us, I’ll post it up here–but don’t hold your breath.
As with all of my blog entries, the opening paragraph eventually leads into what I need to promote for Indians in the Community. This entry is no different.
This Friday night, while the Indians are taking on their inter-state/league rival Cincinnati Reds, our Indians Wives Association will be hosting what we call the “Tribe Treasures” silent auction. All of the players’ wives come up with fun things of their husbands that they can auction off that the general public wouldn’t normally be able to ever buy. Some of the items include:
- a Josh Tomlin game used glove (autographed)
- a pair of game used cleats and batting gloves (autographed) from Jack Hannahan
- Breakfast with Matt LaPorta and his wife
- A half-hour pitching lesson from Chris Perez
- Meet and greet with Travis Hafner
Probably the coolest and most unusual thing (in my opinion) comes from Justin Masterson’s wife. She is auctioning off the opportunity to have Justin Masterson shave your head in the home dugout before a game. I’m expecting him to Bic it.
If you aren’t into having your head shaved by a professional baseball player, and don’t enjoy breakfast with two strangers, or wearing some other guy’s cleats…there are still other great items to bid on. Or you can take your chances on the Mystery Ball fundraiser. For $40, you can reach in and get a wrapped up baseball autographed by one of the players on the Indians team. You won’t know what you are getting until you pay for it and open it up (hence the “mystery”). All monies raised will go to charity.
The auction will begin at 5:30 and will in section 153 up until the 7th inning. So make your way down there and put some bids on these wicked cool items. If you don’t want to bid, you can always just chat it up with the wives! See you there and GO TRIBE!!