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

Don Drumm Studios

Meaden & Moore


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


In the Browns' shadow, Indians bank on nostalgia
Indians showcase Jim Thome, Kenny Lofton during second annual TribeFest that coincided with Browns naming new coach
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
A Jim Thome statue will be unveiled at Progressive Field on Aug. 2. Cleveland's career leader in home runs joins Bob Feller as the only other Cleveland player to be honored with a statue outside the ballpark.
Download (WKSU Only)

It’s no secret that the Indians have to work harder to get Northeast Ohioans’ attention than the Browns. So, to drum up interest --- and sell tickets --- the team has started TribeFest. Fans are invited to Progressive Field in January to meet players – past and present -- and tour the locker rooms. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto talks about the Indians tough competition this past weekend.

LISTEN: Terry Pluto on Indians TribeFest and nostalgia

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:11)


TribeFest: Unfortunate timing
The Indians spent lots of time planning their second annual TribeFest. The Indians set tickets for the opportunity to Progressive Field in January, meet the players for autographs, tour the locker rooms, hit in the batting cages and hear from manager Terry Francona. “It’s a great event for their fans. On Thursday, the day before it opens, the Browns hire a coach. Friday, the snow-storm hits; it goes all weekend.

Pluto says it all goes back to the Browns trumping Northeast Ohio's sports scene: "I posted this nice story about Kenny Lofton, and people [are writing me], 'What about a the Browns?'"

Indians deserve the attention
Pluto says the Tribe deserve their time in the spotlight: “The only team that frankly was worthy of fan support in the area in the last year was the Indians … They won 92 games, they lost 70. It would be just like if the Browns were 9-7 and made the playoffs. There was something to watch."

“They had all their key players, Jason Kipnis, Michael Bourne, Danny Salazar, their young star. They also brought in Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel, Kenny Lofton from the 90's because people love those older players. I know when I was a kid I would have just been begging my dad to take me down to something like this, even in the snow."

Off-season events usually help ticket sales
Terry Pluto says TribeFest drew about 7,000 to Progressive Field over the weekend. That's about equal to their season ticket base. "These are the fans they were in jeopardy of losing a year ago, before they hired Terry Francona [as manager]."

Indians still banking on their 90's stars 
The Indians continue bringing back Thome, Lofton and the other players from the 90's. And Pluto says those players are just as eager to return to Cleveland to meet the fans. “They know that baseball of all the sports has the most nostalgic pull on people. Kenny Lofton spoke to the media for a half hour. They had to shut him up. Kenny would never refuse to talk but he was always kind of suspicious, and  guarded. [I think] Kenny’s discovered like a lot of these guys, Thome or Omar, yeah they played other places but the prime of their lives where they’re recognized and loved the most, is Cleveland and they’re really appreciating it at this stage."

A statue for Thome: Is it necessary?
The Indians announced during TribeFest that they will unveil a statue of Thome at Progressive Field on Aug. 2. Cleveland's career leader in home runs will be forever honored with the statue, which depicts him standing in the batter's box and directing his bat toward the mound. Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller is the only other Cleveland player to also be honored with a statue outside the ballpark. “Even Thome’s like, 'I really appreciate it, but I’m not sure why,'" Pluto says.

“I think [the Indians] like Jimmy personally. The Indians included the statue in their contract negotiations with Thome when he became a free agent after the 2002 season. "But the problem is they offered $50 million less than the Phillies, so he went to Philly for the money," Pluto says. Thome signed a six-year, $85 million contract with Philadelphia. But, Pluto says, "Thome wasn’t all that hepped up on [the idea of a statue] then.”

Who deserve a statue at Progressive Field?
Pluto isn't sure Thome should be the next Indians player to be honored with a statue. “I always thought the next statue should be Larry Doby, broke the American League color line. Some fans have written me …that it should Lou Boudreau." Bourdreau was manager when the Indians won the 1948 World Series, Cleveland's first championship in 28 years and only the second in their history. 

Still, Pluto says the Indians should honor the great team of the 1990's as a whole. "My wife Roberta suggested you put about five or six of the players in some sort of statue with [Albert] Belle, Lofton, [Carlos] Baerga, Thome, Vizquel, maybe [Charlie} Nagy, those guys with Jim Hargrove, the manager, somehow."

LISTEN: Terry Pluto on new Browns coach Mike Pettine
Other options:  MP3 Download (8:28)



Related WKSU Stories

Why reading about baseball may be one way to get through a harsh winter
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Latest Browns firing pushes tab to $50 million paid to ex coaches and execs
Wednesday, January 8, 2014

When it comes to baseball, drugs still pay off -- big
Wednesday, December 18, 2013

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

Ohio lawmakers propose grants for home construction for disabled people
We have been trying to have a "Visitability Bill" passed for years. Thanks, Greg

Lake County crimes may give Trump immigration fodder
Shoddy reporting at best. "Mixed views" The question that came to my mind was, "How many people did he have to interview to get "mixed views". Do the two peo...

Ohio's U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown announces plans to improve Medicare by lowering prescription costs for seniors
Sounds good. I'm living in Florida to escape the snow. So far it's working. I retired from GM in 2000. Keep pushing for all the working people. In the long run ...

The tiny town that time, and elections, forgot may go out of existence
Thank you for this story. I grew up in Limaville, my parents home is there still...unsellable due to the septic/sewer problem. Sometimes I am sorry I left...wis...

Where Ohio'sJohn Kasich stands in the presidential polls
We are fans of Gov. Kasich since he served in the House of Representatives. It pleases us to finally see him as the potential President of the United States. We...

Cleveland hosts the first national Movement for Black Lives conference
What a wonderful experience this was, So much love and understanding, without all of the other distractions that tend to come with organizing for change, this e...

Air Force unit gets training and Youngstown gets rid of some eyesores
Do they have to totally destroy all the beautiful oak and leaded windows, which I am thinking are probably there? Do they just have to destroy them like that? C...

Jewish challah and Native American fry bread at an Akron cultural exchange
Each time I saw the young students relate to each other, I got goose bumps. These young students can and hopefully will teach all of us to live and respect eac...

One of the Cleveland Orchestra's most celebrated musicians bids farewell
I had the honor of studying with Franklin Cohen in the late 80s and early 90s. He is unparalleled both as a clarinetist and as a musician. His deep personal war...

Summa's dress code is not 'etched in stone'
SOME OF THESE POLICIES ARE A COMPLETE JOKE. UNLESS YOU ARE DOING THESE TYPE OF JOBS EVERY DAY, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IS COMFORTABLE AND REASONABLE OR NOT. UNLESS ...

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