About 40 kids from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland and the Cleveland Baseball Federation took part in the PLAY Campaign (Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth) event Tuesday morning at Progressive Field.
Indians outfielder Michael Brantley, along with head trainer Lonnie Soloff and fellow trainers Jess Desjardins and Michael Salazar, along with strength and conditioning coordinator Joe Kessler, took part. The event was held in conjunction with the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society, the Taylor Hooton Foundation and MLB Charities.
Kids – a group of whom said they had just won their first game of the summer on Monday night, 15-1 — went through four stations:
- Baseball activities led by Brantley
- Stretching exercises led by Desjardins
- Agilities drills led by Kessler
- A discussion on steroids given by Taylor Hooton representatives
The event was the seventh of 30 PLAY Campaign events that will be held in MLB stadiums across the country throughout 2013.
Created in 2004, the PLAY program was formed to raise awareness about children’s health issues and the obesity epidemic in the United States. Since 2004, the PLAY campaign has conducted over 150 events inside all 30 MLB stadiums, reaching tens of thousands of America’s young people with positive messages about making healthy decisions and living a more active and healthy lifestyle. In 2008, the Taylor Hooton Foundation joined the PLAY campaign to incorporate its anti-steroid education and generate awareness about one of the fastest growing drugs in America.
–Photos by Dan Mendlik; text by Joel Hammond
Barkevious Mingo and the 2013 Cleveland Browns rookie class made their annual visit to Progressive Field on Tuesday for batting practice and an Indians game.
Mingo joined nearly 40 rookies on the field as the Tribe prepared for its game against Kansas City.
Mingo said this is just his second visit to a Major League ballpark.
“I wanted to catch a foul ball, but now we’re in (a suite), so I don’t think I’ll be able to catch it,” he said. “I’m starting to love this city; it’s really a nice place. Where we’re at, it’s peaceful, it’s quiet, and it’s a fun place to be right now.”
Several of the rookies had a chance to chat with Indians Manager Terry Francona and various Indians players.
Mingo said he has absolutely no experience playing the game of baseball.
He joked, “I threw out the first pitch at my high school game. Does that count as baseball?”
Mingo, who grew up cheering for Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, said he is excited to play in front of Cleveland fans during this upcoming season.
“[Cleveland fans are] fanatical,” he said. “It’s crazy; you [see] them all, and you hear some of the stories about the tradition they have.”
-TribeVibe contributor Megan Golden
–Photos by Dan Mendlik and Kyle Emery
Father’s Day weekend, great weather forecast and Justin Masterson on the mound. Friday was looking like a great day to take my daughter to an Indians game last week. But when I went online to order tickets, I had a new option after I chose my seats.
Would I like to add Tribe Park and Ride seats to my tickets?
I’d been prompted to buy prepaid parking in the past, but this one was new to me. I clicked to get more information and saw that a bus would pick me up at the mall in Strongsville, near my house, and pick me up after the game. At $5 per ticket, it would be cheaper than parking, and someone else would have to deal with post-game traffic downtown. Just show up at the mall 90 minutes before game time and relax.
What I hadn’t expected was a 45-minute, pre-game party.
Those Indians interns who throw out T-shirts at the games? They were onboard giving away prizes to people who answered trivia questions. They even had age-appropriate ones for my 10-year-old.
Instead of asking her about Bob Feller, our Indians’ representative asked her to spell some player names. Okay, so maybe asking a young girl to spell Mark Teixeira and Jarrod Saltalamacchia wasn’t the easiest way to win an Indians water bottle, but she got them right with a lot of help from the people in the seats around us.
The bus dropped us off in front of Progressive Field about 45 minutes before first pitch, giving us plenty of time to enjoy dollar dog night.
As we’ve come to expect from Masterson, the pitching was fantastic and the game was a real nail-biter. A walk-off RBI from Jason Kipnis ended the game with a Tribe win, and the closing fireworks were phenomenal as usual.
The bus was right in front of the ballpark when we left, so we didn’t have to walk across downtown to find our car or go through Tower City to catch the train.
With nearly 31,000 people leaving Progressive Field at the same time (the close game and the fireworks meant almost nobody left early), downtown was a parking lot. It took our driver nearly 30 minutes to get from the field to the interstate.
So I did what I could never have done if I’d driven myself downtown – shut my eyes and let my daughter cuddle up to me and take a nap. Nights like Friday are about more than enjoying a baseball game. Those are the memories that should last a lifetime.
About the writer: Robert Schoenberger is a former reporter for The Plain Dealer and an editorial specialist at TOA Technologies in Beachwood.
Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis and starting pitcher Corey Kluber have been named the American League Co-Players of the Week for the period ending June 16th. This is the first weekly honor for both players as they become the third and fourth members of the Indians to be tabbed A.L. Player of the Week this season, joining teammates Ryan Raburn (period ending May 5th) and Justin Masterson (period ending May 19th). The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Kipnis batted .524 (11-for-21) with two doubles, one home run, four RBI and five runs scored in six games over the week, topping the Major Leagues in batting average and on-base percentage (.593), and ranking second in the A.L. in hits and sixth in slugging percentage (.762). On the mound, Kluber went 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA, 11 strikeouts and three walks in 16.0 innings over a pair of starts. He led the Majors in innings pitched and was tied for first overall in wins.
On June 11th, the 27-year-old Kluber held the Texas Rangers to one run on six hits with three strikeouts over 8.0 innings and Kipnis added a base hit and a run scored as the pair guided the Tribe to a 5-2 victory at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, snapping an eight-game losing streak for the Indians. Kluber, an Alabama native who played high school baseball in nearby Coppell, Texas, reached a season high in innings over the 104-pitch outing and halted a personal four-start winless string. On Wednesday, the 26-year-old Kipnis went 3-for-5 with a double and a home run as the Indians topped the Rangers, 5-2. The Illinois native notched the first of two Cleveland runs in the fifth frame with his ninth homer of the season.
After an off-day on Thursday, the Indians returned home and used some late-inning heroics on Friday to defeat the Washington Nationals, 2-1, at Progressive Field. With Cleveland’s Drew Stubbs representing the winning run on third base in the home half of the ninth inning, the left-handed-hitting Kipnis ripped a sharp, one-out grounder to the first-base side as Stubbs beat Adam LaRoche’s throw home to give Cleveland their third straight victory. On Sunday, Kluber returned to the bump and held the Nationals offense at bay over 8.0 shutout innings, scattering seven hits with eight strikeouts and no walks as Cleveland blanked Washington, 2-0. The Stetson University product improved to 5-4 on the season. On the offensive side, Kipnis, who hails from Arizona State University, went 1-for-1 with two walks, a sacrifice fly and a run scored as he extended his season-long hitting streak to 10 games (.432, 3 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI during the string) with a sixth-inning single in the effort.
In recognition of their American League Co-Player of the Week Awards, Jason Kipnis and Corey Kluber will each be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.
(Note: To register for a future camp, visit the Youth Baseball page at Indians.com.)
The 2013 Cleveland Indians Youth Camp made its way to Broadview Heights last week, where reliever Cody Allen surprised campers with a visit on Friday.
ACE Baseball Ltd. runs the camp, which consists of two 2-hour sessions at each respective location. Fields Memorial Park, in Broadview Heights, was the second of eight youth camps the Tribe will host this summer.
Nearly 40 campers attended this particular camp, and they split into three teams: the Windians, the Wahoos and the Tribe. Each team rotated through stations, which provided kids with the chance to improve base-running, catching pop-ups and snaring line drives.
One coach tossed pop-ups to the campers, asking, “How many hands? How many hands do you have?”
Camper Liam Downs, of Chardon, said he enjoyed the fielding sessions the most.
“[We are] practicing the motions of pitching, fielding and working on throwing the seams of a ball,” he said.
Camper Kenny Krawczyk agreed, adding that he learned much about the triangle position and how to get in front of the baseball.
Once the campers caught sight of one of their role models on the sideline, whispers of “Cody Allen” could be heard amongst the three teams.
Allen introduced himself to the campers and demonstrated various grips of the baseball.
“I use this two-seamer when I need a double play,” he said.
“I’m a pitcher like him. I just like him,” Krawczyk said. “He taught us how to throw a different way, and when I pitch in my game, I’m going to try to throw like him.”
Allen answered any questions the campers had and also took time to autograph their shirts and gloves and take photos with campers.
One camper raised his hand and asked, “Have you ever given up a home run?” (The answer, of course, is yes: Check out Allen’s Baseball Reference page for his complete career stats.)
The camp concluded with a series of three relay races, in which teams had to run to their respective coach, circle around them and run back. Allen rotated as coach of the Windians, the Wahoos and the Tribe. Coincidentally, Allen’s team came out victorious each time.
Krawczyk doubted it was Allen’s coaching, however, claiming, “In the last race, I saw him move closer.”
-TribeVibe contributor Megan Golden
Relive the Tribe’s exciting series victory over Washington and all the excitement therein:
- Walk-off win on Friday
- Clint Frazier’s first appearance at Progressive Field
- Corey Kluber’s dominance
- Father’s Day festivities
–Photos by Dan Mendlik and Kyle Emery
The Green Sports Alliance, based in Portland, Ore., has recognized the sustainability efforts of the Cleveland Indians in a recent report in Sustainable Business Oregon.
- The Cleveland Indians’ colors may be red, white and navy, but the franchise is one of the greenest of them all. Progressive Field hosted the Natural Resources Defense Council’s National Recycling Day two years ago. Then there’s the park’s LED signage, which has helped keep more than 74,000 tons of CO2 emissions out of the atmosphere. The Indians recycle cardboard, paper, aluminum, plastic #1, scrap metal, cooking oil and florescent bulbs, among other items. Plus, its paper hand towels, toilet tissue and facial tissue are all made from recycled products. Did we mention that Progressive Field also became the American League’s first park to go solar? The panels provide 8.4 kilowatts of electricity, enough to power 400 television sets each game.
To find out more about the Indians green initiatives, visit the Sustainability page at Indians.com.
(Note: Watch video of Frazier’s BP session on Saturday here.)
When outfielder and first-round draft pick Clint Frazier entered the Indians locker room for the first time since signing with the Tribe, he was greeted by a dozen guys wearing curly, red Ronald McDonald wigs.
The Indians No. 5 draft pick survived his initiation in Cleveland and even wound up making new friends and mentors in the process.
“Walking in to all the guys, I never knew what it would be like to meet a bunch of Major Leaguers at once,” Frazier said. “Seeing them all wearing the red wigs and giving me a hard time is something I could never put into words.
“I thought that was hilarious because, earlier in the year, somebody from Baseball America joked and said if I made it to the Major Leagues, they were going to have redhead giveaway night for my name. It’s kind of weird finally seeing that come into play and become a reality.”
Frazier made it a reality on Saturday, when he signed a contract worth $3.5 million.
“[My emotions are still] sky high. I know being drafted was one thing, but being able to sign a Major League contract is another thing. Just to be able to finally say that I am a part of a pro team, that really means a lot,” he said. “The Indians drafting me at No. 5 was just the best experience of my life.”
Director of Amateur Scouting Brad Grant said Frazier will report to the Goodyear, Ariz., Player Development Complex on Sunday and begin playing for the Arizona League Indians.
Frazier said saying goodbye to his family on Father’s Day will be bittersweet.
“My dad just told me a minute ago that this is the best Father’s Day gift anyone could have,” he said. “I’m glad just to be able to come out here, bring a smile to his face and enjoy these last moments with my family. Obviously, going into my new life that I’m going to be living is something that they’re very proud of and that I’m very excited for.”
Frazier had his first experience taking batting practice and shagging balls with the big-league team. Many members of the current roster took the time to introduce themselves and chat with the first-round pick.
Frazier said designated hitter Jason Giambi has taken him under his wing since he arrived in Cleveland. Giambi exchanged phone numbers with Frazier and shared some advice with him.
“He told me some words of wisdom about my experience in the Minor Leagues. [He said] not to make the game harder than what it is and to break down the game and make it easier,” Frazier said. “I remember playing with him on video games. I sat next to him, and just how big he still is now and all the words of wisdom he has given me — that’s all I can ask for.”
- TribeVibe contributor Megan Golden
In honor of Father’s Day, TribeVibe recently met with various Indians players and discovered the “Top 10 Best Things about Dad.”
10. It might sound weird, but he was very hard on me as a kid. As a kid, I was a little resistant to that; looking back now, I can understand why [he was hard on me]. He wanted me to achieve more than he ever achieved in life. I look back at it now, and I really appreciate it. – Mike Aviles
9. He’s always there for me, whenever I call. He’s always there to support me. – Mark Reynolds
8. Being an example for me is a big thing. Since I was a little kid, the way he raised me was to do things right. He was in the Dominican Army for 13 years, so that was the way I was raised — to do everything right. – Ubaldo Jimenez
7. I think the best thing about him is that he was always there. I was fortunate enough to have him always home, always willing to do anything that I wanted to do — any sport, any activity. That’s what I try to do with my kids. – Nick Hagadone
6. He’s beautiful; this is one special day for him, and I am happy [about] that. I move too much, play too much, and don’t visit my mom and dad [enough]; it’s crazy. – Carlos Santana
5. The best thing about my dad is probably just his support for me throughout the course of my life. Credit him for me being where I am today. He’s the one who really got me started with this game. – Drew Stubbs
4. He is always looking at the bright side of stuff; he is very positive. He is always looking at the good side of things. There’s not one thing I can say. – Scott Kazmir
3. He’s my dad; no matter what, he’s my dad. He’s taught me everything I know, from baseball to being a man. Being a preacher, he taught me a lot about my beliefs and how I was raised. The way I’ve turned out is all a tribute to how he raised me. He’s my dad. – Ryan Raburn
2. He [used to] take me to the stadium to practice. If I wanted to play catch with someone or swing the bat, I’d do it with him. I did everything with my dad when I was a kid. – Carlos Carrasco
1. For me, he’s the best dad. He’s always been [there] for me. He’s the best dad in the world. – Asdrubal Cabrera
-TribeVibe contributor Megan Golden