WHAT IF last Friday night at Progressive Field, the heroics didn’t belong to the Cleveland Indians baseball team? WHAT IF the two out rally wasn’t started by Grady Sizemore or Travis Hafner? WHAT IF this time…this one time, the victories didn’t belong to the Tribe team that everyone is used to and instead belonged to the Cleveland Indians kickball team–made up of members of the Cleveland Indians front office? I’m glad you asked!
The competition was fierce that day, my friends. I’ll tell you the opposing players were 10 feet tall if they were a foot! But that didn’t matter to us. We simply looked at our enemies and smiled, because we knew–we knew we had the Cleveland Indians “bat magic” on our side. We had the likes of Dan “Asdrubal” Badders at short stop making unbelievable defensive plays to help out our pitcher Ashley “Pure Rage” Churchill. We had a core team of veterans named Machado, Walters, Janoso, Frohwerk, Sherman and Polito showing the rookies how its done. And most importantly, we had the “never-give-up/two-out-rally” attitude that has created so many memories for our fans this year on the baseball side of things.
Game 1 and 2 were easy victories for us and got the juices flowing. We knew going into Game 3 we would need great defense and even faster legs. We played smart ball, but still found ourselves down 1-0 early on. We came back to tie it up 1-1 in, what we thought would be our last ups. Time still remained and we were able to get one last at bat and that is where the magic began. In the bottom of the 3rd inning (the last inning), the Indians came back to win it 2-1! The opposing team was not happy thinking that they lost on a technicality. Umpire’s call–we win and we move on.
Game 4 was just as intense. We were again down 1-0 in the 1st inning. No matter what we tried to do, we were going down 1, 2, 3 until the 3rd inning (again). That’s when the rally began. We battled back to tie it up. Then, with two men on and two outs we kicked a solid single. Dan Badders, on second base took off to third and then tried for home to get the win. The ball was thrown and clearly the catcher did not tag our runner. The umpire had a bad angle and didn’t know what to call. She called out and then safe and the complaints piled in. There was no way for her to make it right and, because this was a game for charity, both teams agreed that a re-kick was the most fair option. The rally continued as we ended up scoring to win the game 2-1 and move on to the Championship game versus KeyBank.
I’m not even going to go into details of this game because every fan watching has their own take on how it all went down. That’s how legends are created, and that’s what this battle will go down as–legendary. Some will say we had it in our grasp from the first kick, others will say that KeyBank should have come up with the victory (those people would be wrong). Knowing the game was all for charity, the Cleveland Indians reached deep down into their guts and pulled out the greatest win of all time to became the first back-to-back kickball champions in the world!
The kickball games were played as part of the 2nd Annual “Cleveland Kicks-It”–a charity kickball tournament to raise money for an organization called Kick-It. Kick-It is a national fundraising program that raises money for children’s cancer research through the game of kickball. Cleveland Kicks-It brought local Cleveland businesses together to compete against each other at Progressive Field in a double elimination tournament. Competing teams included the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Cavs, Rosetta, KeyBank, American Greetings, Clear Channel, Quicken Loans, K&D Group, Kalman + Pabst, West Side Challenge and Fairmount Minerals.
I remember growing up and getting my first baseball glove. I was in kindergarten and had just signed up for T-Ball. I didn’t know anything about baseball, but my older brother (who is only a year older than me) was playing and I wanted to be on the same team as him. I also knew going in that, because my older brother was left-handed and I was right-handed there was no way that I would get his hand-me-down glove. For once, I could get something new that didn’t belong to my brother first! My mom took us to the store to get my brother some new sweatpants and cleats and a new glove. I was, of course, getting his old sweatpants and cleats that he grew out of.
I was so pumped to go and pick out my glove when I noticed something. My brother, although left-handed for everything…EVERYTHING…picked out a right hander’s glove. It was then that I was informed that he was right-handed only when it came to throwing. We got home from the store and my mom handed me his old glove and that was that. But you know what? That was an amazing glove and it was my glove. I made it my own and took care of it, and it was a part of me as I learned the world of baseball. Plus, I didn’t have a growth spurt for about 3 years after that, so the glove lasted me quite a while.
The Cleveland Indians are partnering with KeyBank on a season long glove drive. The KeyBank Glove Drive started on Opening Day and will run until August 28. Here is what you have to do to participate: Bring a new or gently used glove to the next Indians game with you, take it to our Guest Services booth, and we’ll give you a ticket to the August 28th game as well as a voucher that allows you entry to a post-game autograph session by select Indians players that day! Plus, you’ll be entered in a drawing where you could win the opportunity to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the game that day!
You can also participate by bringing your glove to a local KeyBank and filling out an entry form. It’s that easy! All gloves will then be donated to Cleveland Baseball Federation and given to local youth to use while learning the game of baseball. So bring a new or gently used glove with you to the next Tribe game and instead of using it to catch foul balls in the stands, donate it to the KeyBank Glove Drive. Who knows? Your glove could get into the hands of the next Grady Sizmore…or the next Justin Sherman: Community Outreach blog writer and former T-Ball player! Either way, you’ll help connect with the next generation of baseball fans in our community!