The Rise and Fall of Slider: Reliving the 20th anniversary of the Cleveland Indians mascot’s fall in Game 4 of the 1995 ALCS
Fall evening. Game 4 of the American League Championship Series at then-Jacobs Field.
Indians down 2-1. We needed a spark. Slider tried to provide one – but it turned disastrous.
First, watch the video:
And now, an EXCLUSIVE interview with Slider about that day.
TribeVibe: What the heck happened?
Slider: It was a somersault gone bad. We needed some energy and so I got up on the wall between batters before I was going to slingshot hot dogs to the crowd between innings.
I went into my somersault and instead of going head over heels, I turned over my left shoulder and could feel myself falling. I landed on my right leg and it completely blew up – I thought it was a compound fracture but it was a complete dislocation of my knee and every ligament tore.
You hear Bob Costas and Bob Uecker say that the Mariner Moose had just gone down. It was a bad week for mascots.
Mike Hargrove was furious in our dugout, and I look over at Ken Griffey Jr. (in center field) and he’s cracking up.
TribeVibe: What did Julian Tavarez and Jose Mesa (visible in the video) say to you?
Slider: They said, “you’re not hurt Slider – get up, you have to slingshot hot dogs!” I said, “I am hurt!”
TribeVibe: What happened with Slider the rest of the Postseason?
Slider: I came out for introductions at Game 5 (the next night) with crutches and his leg wrapped up – and to a rousing ovation. I worked with my leg in a full cast during the World Series.
Footnote: The brunette in the video, one of Slider’s handlers during the game in which he fell, later became Slider’s real-life wife. Small world!
–TribeVibe contributor Joel Hammond