Results tagged ‘ Albert Belle ’
PHOTO GALLERY: Jim Thome, Albert Belle, Frank Robinson, Charlie Jamieson inducted into Indians Hall of Fame
–Photos by Dan Mendlik and Maureen MacGregor
The Cleveland Indians will induct four men into the club’s Hall of Fame on Saturday, July 30, as part of pregame ceremonies before the Indians take on the A’s at Progressive Field.
Jim Thome, the Indians all-time home run king; Albert Belle, still the only 50-50 man in baseball history; Frank Robinson, the first African-American manager in baseball history; and Charlie Jamieson, who hit .316 over 14 seasons with the Indians and was a member of the 1920 World Series team, will be inducted before the Indians game against the Oakland A’s.
A Jim Thome HOF Inductee Bobblehead, courtesy of Medical Mutual, will be distributed to 15,000 fans on July 30, and Thome will be the lone member of this year’s class on hand for the evening’s festivities. The quartet’s induction now makes the Indians Hall of Fame 44 members strong after Omar Vizquel’s induction in 2014.
Gates open at 5PM. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 6:45PM to not miss a second of the HOF ceremonies. Each man will be honored with a video on the scoreboard, with the family of the late Jamieson on hand to be recognized. Thome also will speak for a few minutes after being recognized before the crowd.
Thome played 13 seasons in all for the Indians, and his 337 homers and 1,008 walks in a Tribe uniform are the most in club history. He was a three-time All-Star as a member of the Indians, and four times finished in the top 10 in American League MVP voting.
He ranks second in club history in RBI (937), third in on-base percentage (.414), slugging percentage (.592) and OPS (.980), and 10th in doubles (263). Thome is first-time eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018.
Belle, too, was one of the most feared hitters in baseball during his prime; he hit 50 homers and 52 doubles in 1995, and remains the only Major League player in history to accomplish that feat. He was a four-time All-Star and Silver Slugger Award winner with the Tribe, and three times finished in the top three in AL MVP voting.
He ranks second in club history in homers, with 242, second in slugging percentage (.580), fifth in OPS (.949) and 10th in RBI (751).
Robinson played the final three years of his stellar career in Cleveland, but is far better remembered for being a pioneer: He became the first African-American manager in baseball history, and served as player-manager from 1975-1976.
After hitting 586 career homers for five teams, Robinson managed the Indians for parts of three seasons, and eventually managed four teams. He won 1,065 games over 16 seasons, and was the 1989 AL Manager of the Year.
Jamieson played the final 14 years of his career (12 full seasons) with the Indians, hitting .316 and scoring 942 runs over those seasons. He also was a member of the 1920 World Series champions.
He ranks fifth in club history in hits (1,753), seventh in doubles (296), ninth in average and walks (627), 10th in triples (74) and 11th in on-base percentage (.388).
–TribeVibe contributor Joel Hammond
The story of the artifacts saved from the final Cleveland Indians game at Cleveland Municipal Stadium
Oct. 3, 1993, marked the end of baseball at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium. Today fans still remember the good times they spent at the old ballpark. Although the stadium no longer stands, and more than 20 years have passed, artifacts preserved from the stadium still bring back memories of that last game.
Among some of the items in our team archive are the lineup cards for both teams. Although badly faded, the names of Tribe greats can still be seen: Lofton batting leadoff, Thome batting third and Belle at cleanup. The White Sox lineup card displays the names of Bo Jackson and Hall of Famer Frank Thomas.
During the pregame festivities, White Sox manager Gene Lamont presented Tribe skipper Mike Hargrove with a bat signed by the Sox as well as an autographed Frank Thomas jersey.
Although Charles Nagy walked Ellis Burks leading off, the ball used for his first-pitch strike was saved. During the same inning, Frank Thomas doubled in Burks and in the sixth singled in Joey Cora to finish the season one RBI shy of Albert Belle’s MLB-leading 129 mark.
The last pitch of the game was a slider and a swinging strike three. Home plate umpire Larry Barnett was instructed to pass the ball to a member of the Indians staff. White Sox catcher Mike LaValliere and pitcher Jose DeLeon, however, tried their best to obtain the historic artifact. In a post-game interview, LaValliere said, “I tried to bargain with the ump.” Luckily the ball was saved.
The postgame ceremony featured the removal of home plate, which received a second life as home plate for the 1994 opener before being removed again for posterity. These artifacts are displayed on special occasions such as TribeFest and special games.
Do you have any items from old Municipal Stadium?
–Indians curator Jeremy Feador
More smiles on Day 2 of Spring camp, and why not? Spring opener is just 11 days away!
–Photos by Dan Mendlik
- On Opening Day, the Indians announced that Jason Kipnis had agreed to a six-year contract extension through the 2019 season with a club option for 2020. The first-time All-Star in 2013 struggled with an injured oblique muscle throughout the 2014 season, and will be looked to to rebound in 2015 and continue to be a clubhouse leader for the team.
- While looking at some old files in February, we found these photos of the original construction of then-Jacobs Field. Great memories, especially as we embark upon the current ballpark renovation project!
- Sometimes, in a long season, you have to have some fun … So when a random squirrel showed up and stayed a while during an April series with Kansas City, we posted a fake/sarcastic interview with said squirrel. It was a hit.
Nick Swisher’s walk-off Grand Slam got us thinking — what was the most memorable walk-off Grand Slam in ballpark history? Here are four. Head to our Twitter account on Friday morning to vote which one you like best!
Let’s first offer another look at Swish’s:
Now, let’s look at three other memorable ones:
July 18, 1995: The last time the Indians did it against the Angels — off all-time great closer Lee Smith.
April 29, 2011: Carlos did it in 2011 against a familiar foe that may or may not be coming to town this weekend.
July 7, 2011: And Travis Hafner did it later that season.
GRAND FINALE: The Indians recorded their 6th walk-off win of the season, as Nick Swisher connected for a game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the 10th after the Angels jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the top half of the frame…marked the 9th walk-off grand slam in the history of Progressive Field (1994-present), first since Travis Hafner on July 7, 2011 vs. Toronto – 2 of the 9 w/o grand slams here in Cleveland have come vs. LAA – also Albert Belle on July 18, 1995…additionally, marks the first walk-off grand slam in extra-innings here at Progressive Field – 3rd in Cleveland since 1962 (Don Dillard, 7/4/1962 vs. DET & Carlos Martinez 9/6/1992 vs. SEA)…four of the six Cleveland walk-off victories this season have come by way of the long ball, as Michael Brantley (5/19 vs. DET), Michael Bourn (6/1 vs. COL) and Asdrubal Cabrera (6/4 vs. BOS) have also notched game-winning long balls…tonight’s game-winner marks the 74th walk-off home run in the history of Progressive Field – the most by any team over that span.
WALK-OFF WINS BY CLEVELAND IN 2014 (6)
- May 7 vs. Minnesota (4-3): Mike Aviles RBI-single in 9th
- May 19 vs. Detroit (5-4, 10): Michael Brantley solo HR
- May 21 vs. Detroit (11-10, 13): Alburquerque bases-loaded balk
- June 1 vs. Colorado (6-4): Michael Bourn 2-run HR
- June 4 vs. Boston (7-4, 12): Asdrubal Cabrera 3-run HR
- June 19 vs. Los Angeles-AL (5-3 10): Nick Swisher grand slam
- Ended today’s game with a 2-out, walk-off grand slam off Angels closer Ernesto Frieri in the bottom of the 10th inning
- For his career, it marked his 8th walk-off plate appearance, 6th walk-off hit and 4th walk-off homer (first walk-off grand slam), the other game-ending big flies coming on: Aug. 5, 2008 vs. Chicago-AL (B14th, 3-run), Sept. 8, 2009 vs. Tampa Bay (B9th, solo) and Sept. 8, 2010 vs. Baltimore (B9th, 2-run)…has 2 extra-inning, game-winning home runs in the past 5 days, as Swisher also broke a 2-2 tie with an 11th-inning solo shot on Sunday to beat the Red Sox 3-2 at Fenway Park.
- The Indians notched their 19th come-from-behind of the season to cap a 2-1 rain-shortened series victory over the Angels…Tribe has now won 4-straight and 7 of last 8 series at home, improving to 8-3-0 in 11 series played here in Cleveland this season.
- Cleveland owns the highest home winning percentage in the Majors, going 23-12 (.629) at Progressive Field this season…Indians have won 11 of 12, 14 of 18 and 20 of the clubs last 27 games here in Cleveland.
- Did not factor into today’s decision despite working 7.0 quality innings, limiting the Angels to just one run – scored on a WP in T2nd – on 4 hits and 3 walks, while registering 5 strikeouts (ND, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R-ER, 3 BB, 5 SO, 1 WP, 116 pitches/66 strikes).
- Tossed a season-high 116 pitches, while completing 7.0 full innings for the second time in his last 4 starts – 5th on the season.
- After going 2-4 with a 5.21 ERA (39 ER/67.1 IP) through his first 12 starts of the season (March/April-May), Masterson has allowed just 8 earned runs across 21.2 innings in 4 starts in the month of June to lower ERA on the season from 5.21 to 4.75.
- Has gone 3-1 with a 3.54 ERA (19 ER/48.1 IP) across 8 home starts this season, reeling off back-to-back 7.0 inning performances, while allowing 2 or fewer runs for the first time since May 13 & 19, 2013.
- In now 10 starts vs. the Angels since being acquired by the Tribe in 2009, Masterson has gone 4-1 with a 2.32 ERA (17 ER/66.0 IP) – his lowest mark vs. an American League club.
- Crockett earned his first Major League win after getting Josh Hamilton to pop out to end the top half of the 10th for the Halos…across 2 stints with the Indians this season, Crockett owns a 1.23 ERA (1 ER/7.1 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 3 SO).
–Photos by Dan Mendlik, David Cleveland/Info via Baseball Information Department
Parma Senior High School graduate Marty Bokovitz has moved on from his ditch-digging career and is now one of the main men on the Cleveland Indians clubhouse staff.
Formerly employed by the city for more than 16 years, Bokovitz paid his due time working the night shift as he split his time working for the city and helping out sporadically as a Tribe clubhouse attendant.
Bokovitz, who showed up for his first day of work in the clubhouse at age 17, said a long night in the clubhouse does not even compare to the night shift he worked years ago for the city.
“Usually a Friday night, Saturday day-game or when we had the long rain delay; there’s no sense in going home,” Bokovitz said, recalling the May 31extended rain delay. “I slept on the couch in the laundry room. A couple other members of the staff slept here, and they found couches or training tables or wherever they could to lay down. It was fine.”
Bokovitz, now the full-time clubhouse assistant, did need to be up and working bright and early that Saturday morning, so he could ensure uniforms had been washed and dried and any odd stains had been treated.
“He does everything for us; he is a behind-the-scenes guy,” starter Scott Kazmir said. “You name it, any type of uniform piece or clothing, he takes care of [it]. If there’s a special day we have, he needs to put on patches — anything and everything.”
Bokovitz has each player’s routine almost down to a science, knowing what time they typically arrive and what needs they usually have on game day. For instance, Bokovitz said he prints crossword puzzles and leaves copies of the USA Today on the tables for various players to relax with before the game. Former Cleveland pitcher Roberto Hernandez, Bokovitz said, used to sweat so much that he would change jerseys numerous times each start.
Aside from laundry and handing out fan mail to each player’s respective locker, Bokovitz and the staff work tirelessly to meet the needs of each player and coach upon their arrival.
“They take care of some of the other runs that need to be done for the players,” Bokovitz said. “They come in, and it’s game prep. Who needs what, who needs this, this guy may need a bat, this guy may need another pair of pants or decide to go with a short pair of pants instead of a long pair. Just tinkering with stuff like that.
“That includes making sure that they have everything they need. A guy may need a pair of socks, or Terry may need something mailed or shipped, or he may need something taken care of like that. It’s just making sure that all they concentrate on is baseball; we’ll take care of the rest of that.”
Bokovitz, who works seven days a week from February 1 through the end of October, said he has developed great relationships with numerous players and coaches, including catcher Lou Marson and outfielder Michael Brantley.
“There’s times when these guys are preparing, and there’s times when you can go up and talk to them and hang out,” Bokovitz said, adding that he is close with second baseman Jason Kipnis and set-up man Vinnie Pestano. “Some of these new guys we still haven’t developed full-on relationships, but some of the guys [have] been here for a few years.”
Developing an understanding for when it is acceptable to chat with players and when it is frowned upon is something that came easily for Bokovitz.
Dealing with former Cleveland player Albert Belle, he said, taught him much about his role in the clubhouse.
“He was a good guy, and he was a perfectionist,” Bokovitz said. “He was a great guy to be around, and you just had to know when it was a good day and when it was a bad day. He was in it to win; that’s what a lot of people don’t understand. He wanted to win and be successful 100% of the time.”
Bokovitz did say, despite having to ship forgotten bats and team luggage to other stadiums and make last-minute errands for different players, this job is “by far” better than digging ditches.
Kazmir agreed, emphasizing the players’ appreciation for Bokovitz and his staff.
“He means a lot to us,” Kazmir said. “He’s great to have in the clubhouse, just to kind of shoot the stuff with — just an all-around good dude. It makes it easier in the clubhouse when you have guys that are easy-going like that.”
–TribeVibe contributor Megan Golden
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis was one of the most productive offensive players in the Majors in June, and there’s still time to vote for Kipnis and his Indians teammates for the 2013 All-Star Game, to be held July 16 at Citi Field in New York.
For the month, Kipnis ranked among MLB leaders in:
- On-base plus slugging: first, 1.216
- On-base percentage: first, .517
- Hits: tied for first, 39
- Average: second, .419
- Slugging percentage: second, .699
- Extra-base hits: second, 17
On a more impressive scale, Kipnis’ peripherals put him in the company of some of the best single-month performances in Cleveland franchise history: Kipnis became just the 15th Cleveland player dating back to at least 1921 to finish a single calendar month with a .400 batting average and OPS figure of at least 1.200, and the first since Jim Thome in August of 1996 (min. 50 plate appearances).
CLEVELAND PLAYERS TO BAT .400+ WITH 1.200+ OPS IN SAME CALENDAR MONTH, SINCE 1921 (min. 50 PA):
- Tris Speaker (5/21, 8/22, 7/23, 5/25, 7/25)
- Joe Sewell (8/23)
- Earl Averill (7/36)
- Frankie Pytlak (8/37)
- Hal Trosky (9/39)
- Dale Mitchell (9/50)
- Johnny Grubb (5/77)
- Albert Belle (5/94)
- Carlos Baerga (7/94)
- Jim Thome (8/96)
- Jason Kipnis (6/13)
Kipnis has reached safely via hit, walk or HBP in 32 consecutive games dating back to May 26. The last Indians player to reach safely in more than 32 straight games was Victor Martinez, who reached safely in 45 straight from Sept. 17, 2005-May 6, 2006.
–TribeVibe contributor Court Berry-Tripp
The Tribe officially has a fan flying out to Spring Training to compete for a spot in the MLB Fan Cave! Alexandria Justice was selected as a Top 30 finalist late on Tuesday and will arrive in Goodyear on Monday. TribeVibe caught up with Alex before she heads to Arizona to demonstrate why she is the ultimate baseball fan.
TribeVibe: What was your reaction when you found out you made the Top 30?
Alexandria Justice: Just like for the top 50, I’m not afraid to admit that I cried like a baby. Waiting for them to announce the top 30 after the voting closed at 5 p.m. was almost the death of me. I swear I didn’t blink for minutes at a time while staring at my computer screen and started to get lightheaded from holding my breath. Finally, I refreshed the page for the millionth time and there I was, in the top 30. My best friend was waiting outside of my room (I wanted to be alone, just in case) so when I screamed, “OH MY GOD, I LOVE EVERYONE IN THE WORLD!” she got the hint that it was safe to come in. She picked me up, spun me around, and we freaked out for the next five minutes. Once again, it was hard to believe that I wasn’t dreaming.