Cleveland Browns draft picks Justin Gilbert, Johnny Manziel talk about their baseball backgrounds, CLE experience so far

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Browns first-round picks Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel visited Progressive Field on Wednesday, visiting with Indians players in the Tribe clubhouse and taking tours of the ballpark.Indians pitcher Josh Tomlin also gave the duo tips on their ceremonial first pitches.

The rest of the team’s draft class, along with undrafted rookies signed by the club, were on hand as well. TribeVibe caught up with Gilbert and Manziel to talk about their baseball backgrounds and their impressions of Cleveland so far.

Justin Gilbert

On his baseball background: The first sport I played was baseball; I played for two years before I got into football at age 7. I played in a lot of tournaments and traveled all over playing; I was a pitcher. I played into my freshman year of high school before I gave it up for track.

On experience with Cleveland so far: I’ve seen loyalty in Cleveland so far, no matter where you go. I’m enjoying my time here in the city. It’s been nothing but love I’ve been getting from everyone.

Johnny Manziel

On his baseball background: I played since I was 6 until I was 16. I played until I was a junior, when I graduated early and went to Texas A&M. I was going to play in college but went to A&M instead for football. I played middle infield.

On the pictures circulating of a young Manziel in Indians gear: The Indians were always our team growing up, and when I moved to Kerrville in middle school that was our team again.

On experience with Cleveland so far: It’s been great. I’m still trying to get familiar with the city. Fans are out there (in Berea) every day. It was like that at A&M too; it’s great though.

–Photos by Dan Mendlik/Text by Joel Hammond

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