Something New Every Day
One of the best things about the game of baseball is that its never the same game twice. Every day you show up at the ballpark there is a chance you will see something you’ve never seen before. Personally I’m still waiting for my first no-hitter. I am one of the few Indians fans who actually admits that he did NOT attend or even watch on television, Len Barker’s perfect game in 1981. The Tribe will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of Barker’s gem with a figurine giveaway on May 13th when the Indians play host to Detroit.
I didn’t see Andre Thornton hit for the cycle in 1978 but, I did see Travis Hafner accomplish the same feat 3 years ago against Minnesota. I also missed Albert Belle’s single season franchise record setting 50th homerun in 1995 but, I was at the microphone when Jim Thome broke that mark seven years later.
I was also calling games for the Tribe when they used a franchise record 32 different pitchers in 2000. I’m sure you remember Dave Burba, Charles Nagy and Chuck Finley but, do you recall Cameron Cairncross, Andrew Lorraine and Kane Davis? Charlie Manuel never got enough credit for the job he did keeping that team in the playoff chase through the final day of the regular season despite the revolving door at the clubhouse entrance.
Despite all of the various injuries the 2000 team suffered I never saw anything like Wednesday night in Baltimore. The Indians lost two pitchers to injuries in the same inning. Matt Miller re-injured his elbow in the 6th inning and two batters later Rafael Betancourt walked off the mound with a strain in his upper back.
Not many people watching the game realized the Indians almost lost second baseman Ronnie Belliard one inning later. When Victor Martinez threw down to the bag after the pitcher had finished warming up, Belliard jumped high in the air to grab the throw and he rolled his ankle when he landed on the base. Being a hard-nosed player Belliard simply had the ankle taped up and he was back in the line-up Thursday afternoon.
Now its off the Kansas City…and watch out for the banana peel.