6 Reasons To Love Indians Baseball
We're underway at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario
By Annie Zaleski
There's a rallying cry in baseball, said by fans of teams who fell just short of a championship: "Wait'll next year!" Such relentless optimism also permeates Cleveland Indians fandom: Each summer we gather at the ballpark to cheer on the Tribe to victory, exuding a kind of local pride that's unique to Cleveland.
For us Indians baseball fans, hope springs eternal in 2018. How could it not? After all, our formidable lineup includes steely pitching ace Corey Kluber - who won his second Cy Young Award in 2017 - and Silver Slugger-winning superstars Josè Ramírez and Francisco Lindor.
However, Indians baseball offers a lot more than entertaining gameplay. Here are six more reasons why we're so stoked that baseball is booming at the corner of Ontario and Carnegie.
1. Baseball's Best Fans
Image by Cody York
Although Opening Day is an unofficial holiday here in The Land, fan excitement doesn't wane as the season progresses. In fact, Cleveland's love of baseball reverberates through the city during the hot summer months. Tribe gear is everywhere, Tom Hamilton's excited calls blare from car radios, and bars have the game on TV. Trust us when we say there's nothing like bonding with fellow Cleveland baseball fans over a few brews and spirited conversation.
2. Belly Up to the (Corner) Bar
Single tickets to the Indians 80 home games are currently on sale via the Indians' website. One of the team's best deals remains the $15 standing-room-only District Ticket. Not only is the first drink on the house, but these ticket-holders are then encouraged to hang out at the two-story, right field Corner Bar, which boasts dozens of delicious local and craft beers, as well as unparalleled camaraderie.
3. Promo Paradise
The Indians' 2018 promotional schedule is chock full of beloved standbys, including Dollar Dog night and the entertainment-packed Right Field District Block Parties. However, this year's array of free swag also includes bobbleheads of current players, jerseys, a plastic pint glass and a snapback hat. Progressive Field's version of happy hour also returns, which is Pregame in the District in which they offer $2(!) 12-ounce domestic cans from 5-7pm before select weekend games.
4. Comeback Sluggers
Image by Cody York
Although the Indians' 2018 roster looks a little different than 2017's model - reliever Bryan Shaw and infielder Carlos Santana left via free agency, and injuries are keeping some of our fiercest pitchers on the sidelines - the team's solid core of pitchers and hitters remains intact. In even better news, Michael Brantley, who was plagued by an ankle injury, is back in fine hitting form. Couple that with Josè Ramírez's slugging power, and it's good news for us - and bad news for opposing pitchers.
5. Rally(ing) Together
Image by Cody York
Manager Terry Francona had a tough spring training, as his dad, Tito Francona, passed away suddenly back in February. However, the team and city rallied around him every, for which Francona expressed deep gratitude. This sense of community and family (not to mention a desire to give back) is built into the Indians' organization.
In April, when the team played two games in Puerto Rico - where Francisco Lindor and catcher Roberto Perez grew up - they donated $37,000 to hurricane relief, while the Cleveland Indians Wives Association gave $4,000.
6. No Roster Drama
With the exception of a few departures, the Indians had a relatively quiet off-season. They exercised the 2018 contracts on pitcher Josh Tomlin and outfielder Michael Brantley, and brought back former outfielder Rajai Davis. Expect that this continuity will lead to great things once the weather turns cooler and October (read: the postseason) looms.