News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hospice of the Western Reserve

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Lehmans


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Sports


Pluto on Indians fan-favorite Rocky Colavito
Rocky will be honored at Progressive Field for his 80th birthday Saturday
by WKSU's MARK URYCKI


Senior Reporter
Mark Urycki
 
Rocky Colavito on cover of Baseball Digest, September 1959. He would be traded just before the 1960 season began.
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
The Cleveland Indians are holding a special luncheon this Saturday to honor former Tribe slugger Rocky Colavito on his 80th birthday. The home-run hitter was the most popular player on the team in the late 50's but was traded. The ensuing lean years for the club inspired our commentator Terry Pluto to write the book “The Curse of Rocky Colavito.”
LISTEN: Pluto says the ties between the Rock and the Indians ran deep.

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (5:08)


Indians General Manager Frank Lane will always be infamous for trading home-run hero and perennial MVP candidate Rocky Colavito to Detroit for Harvey Kuenn, a batter who fizzled in Cleveland. Terry Pluto says that trade help sink the Indians into mediocrity for decades. 

In “1955 Herb Score comes up, ’56 Colavito comes up – they were roommates in the minors. Herb Score was going to be the next Bob Feller; he had that kind of stuff. Colavito was going to be the next home-run hitter. “

  • Former Cleveland players Gary Bell and Joe Azcue are scheduled to attend Saturday’s luncheon with Colavito.
  • Terry Pluto’s book on the subject is “The Curse of Rocky Colavito.”
  • Saturday night, the Indians are giving out replica Indians Hall of Fame plaques of Rocky Colavito.

Score started phenomenally but injuries cut his career short and he became a broadcaster. Colavito became an All-Star hitter who once hit four home runs in one game.  But after a contract dispute with GM Frank Lane, Colavito was sent packing for the Tigers' Harvey Kuenn.

“And to this day, I’ll put it mildly, Colavito calls Frank Lane an SOB.” 

The bond between Score and Colavito remained strong.

“When Herb Score had his stroke about 10 years ago and lost the ability to speak, his wife Nancy told me Rocky called every single week and talked to him on the phone anyway.”

In 2006, Colavito and Score were both made members of the Indians Hall of Fame.

“Rocky was just excited to show up. Herb’s in a wheelchair. They had different events. He’s rolling Herb around  to all these events. That bond for those guys is very, very strong.”

Lingering consequences
But the trade had long repercussions. In 1965, the Indians traded to get Rocky back but ended up giving away pitcher Tommy John and Tommy Agee. Agee went on to help the New York Mets win the 1969 World Series. And John went on to win 288 games – and get a certain elbow surgery named after him.  

Besides trading Colavito, Cleveland also traded away Roger Maris before he had his record-setting season hitting 61 home-runs.

“There’s a picture of the 1961 All-Star team of Roger Maris, Norm Cash and Rocky Colavito, and they are all ex-Indians.”

In 1959, Colavito played with Tito Francona, the father of today’s Indians manager Terry Francona.

“Terry Francona loves these older guys -- it doesn’t matter who it is -- because of his dad. He can’t get enough of that.”

Images with audio

Sympathy for Indians closer Chris Perez after blowing Monday's game against the Tigers.


Sympathy for Indians closer Chris Perez after blowing Monday's game against the Tigers.

Pluto says recent punishment for juiced players doesn't go far enough.


Pluto says recent punishment for juiced players doesn't go far enough.

(Click image for larger view.)

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Study shows raising the cigarette tax a dollar could raise $342 million
So, it takes an expert to tell us raising the tobacco tax raises the revenue for the state? Doh. By the way, any one who was going to quit smoking probably alre...

Akron's Highland Square celebrates community spirit and public art
Both Donna and her husband, Joseph are both such amazing art talents! The photos look stunning! I must get down to Angel Falls for an in-person look. I just l...

Pluto: Another off-season, another Browns quarterback conundrum
The Browns do need a draftable QB for the future. Johnny Manziel needs to go and that leaves Brian Hoyer and Connor Shaw. Free agency doesn't really have any so...

Exploradio: Improving the lives of paralyzed people
God bless you doctor. I hope to be alive the day that humans, like me, can use the results of your search...

Nature and nourishment down by the river at the Metroparks' Merwin's Wharf
I love QUICKBITES! I look forward to it every week. One question: is it possible to include a link to the restaurant or store that you profile? Thanks!

Canton's proposed Timken-McKinley school merger is drawing spirited debate
From a sports opinion Varsity would have a lot more talent to choose from So Im sure varsity sports would improve.Also Timkens name would be much more published...

Canton school board will decide whether to merge high schools
I really hope we can save those jobs, usually we try to cut budgets but the demand is still the same. Then we look bad a year or two after the descion is made. ...

FirstEnergy wants PUCO guarantees on nuclear and coal prices
Would just comment that the plant has admitted the following (as reporting in the Akron Beacon Journal): "The utility has said it may have difficulty keeping t...

Mozzarella's easy when you have a way with curd
Hello, Where can I get such a heater that you have? Does it hold temperature that you set? What brand and model is it? Thank you in advance!! :)

Pluto: A healthy LeBron James is the key for the rocky Cavs
It's time to back our Cleveland professional teams through thick and thin. I've seen management, players and coaches come and go and it hasn't changed a thing. ...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University