20th anniversary weekend shines spotlight on generations of Tribe fans

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We talk a lot about Creating Memories, Connecting Generations and Celebrating Families, and we do so because through the game of baseball, we’re able to accomplish those three things every day and every season for Cleveland Indians fans.

This weekend, as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Progressive Field, 25 years of Tom Hamilton as the voice of the Indians and unveil Jim Thome’s statue, those three goals are even more evident.

That’s why we leapt at the opportunity to connect Jim, Kyle and Trevor Dunn with The Plain Dealer: Kyle, then 11, was featured on the front page of The Plain Dealer on April 5, 1994, the day after the first game at then-Jacobs Field.

Kyle was connected to the game by his dad, Jim, when Kyle was a kid; on Friday, another generation of the Dunn family was on hand – 1-year-old Trevor. Read Mike McIntyre’s piece on Kyle’s big moment re-created, over 20 years later.

Creating Memories, Connecting Generations and Celebrating Families is also why we invited Brent Betts and his son, Jacob, to the ballpark on Friday. Jacob, who turns 20 today, was born in 1994, the club’s first year at Jacobs Field. (Take a guess at why he was named Jacob.)

Brent and Jacob have visited every ballpark in the majors, a tour that started when Jacob was 9 – and ended in June as the pair finished at Marlins Park in Miami.

Jacob said his first memory of then-Jacobs Field, as a little guy, was that he didn’t really like fireworks – and of the team making the playoffs. (Don’t worry: He loves

Also cool – and here comes that Connecting Generations thing again – Brent said Jacob grew up a big Thome fan.

“I have pictures of Thome all over the country from our trip,” Brent Betts said.

And Jacob was politically correct when asked what his favorite ballparks in the bigs were: “I like Boston … but I like it here (in Cleveland ) the best.”

–TribeVibe contributor Joel Hammond

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