A lifelong Cleveland Indians fan, nothing will stop 93-year-old Virginia Rhoades from rooting on her Tribe
A daunting forecast and the possibility of some rain wasn’t going to stop 93-year-old Virginia Rhoades from making the two and a half hour trek from Bryan, Ohio to Progressive Field to catch her first Tribe game.
To clarify, this was certainly not her first Tribe game ever — just of 2016, because, you see, Virginia has been an Indians fan just about her entire life.
At 93, she’s watched the likes of Feller, Omar and Thome come through Cleveland — and without skipping a beat, when asked about her favorite memory as a fan?
“Oh, it would have to be listening to the 1948 World Series on the radio,” she said.
Rhoades’ grandson, Tristan, posted this photo to his Twitter account about 2:30 PM yesterday, when the whole entourage of children and grandchildren accompanied Virginia to the Tribe’s 7-6 victory over the Red Sox Wednesday night.
Tristan recalls his grandmother taking he and his siblings on the bus to catch games at the ballpark, and he’ll always keep those memories as some of his fondest.
“She’s always been a huge fan,” he said, “my grandmother is the the one who got me into baseball.”
A bond that has kept them going.
Just last Sunday, Virginia said Tristan wore a Tribe jacket to church, and one of the ushers commented to Virginia how it must be her favorite jacket.
“That’s how many people know how much I love the Indians,” she said.
Just by sitting and talking to her, you’d never know Virginia Rhoades is 93. She’s unbelievably sharp, and would be willing to talk Cleveland Indians baseball with you all day if she could.
When asked her favorite player, it was a no-brainer.
“I just love Jason Kipnis,” she said, “but that Francisco Lindor, he’s going to be something else.”
And her favorite former player?
Well, that one was a bit tougher.
“Oh, you’re putting me on the spot. There are too many to choose from,” she said.
But after just a few minutes of mulling over all the historical greats she’d watched play, she had an answer.
“It would have to be Omar. We have a dog named Omar!”
When talking to Virginia, the one thing you couldn’t miss was her constant smile. The smile of a lifelong fan, surrounded by her closest family, while watching the team she’s always loved snag their first victory of the season.
And one thing is for certain, an Indians victory never gets old… even when you’re 93.
-TribeVibe contributor Missy Perez