Results tagged ‘ Carlos Baerga ’
The Cleveland Indians announced today that Carlos Baerga, one of the best second basemen in Cleveland Indians history and a member of the 1995 World Series team, will be inducted into the Indians Hall of Fame on June 22.
Baerga always has been a fan favorite and is warmly remembered throughout the organization as being an uplifting, positive force in the clubhouse.
“As difficult as it is to identify one player who made the most significant impact on the renaissance of Indians Baseball in the 1990s, I would have to have Carlos Baerga at the heart of the discussion,” said Indians Vice President of Public Relations Bob DiBiasio. “It took Carlos’ passion and enthusiasm to awaken a baseball franchise and its fan base from a 40-year slumber. His energy was infectious. Constantly moving, constantly dancing and talking whether in the clubhouse, during BP or during a game, Carlos provided an enthusiasm that helped create perhaps the best run of Indians baseball in club history.”
Tom Hamilton, voice of the Indians, agrees. “The guy unified the clubhouse. His personality was so magnetic; he made sure everyone was ready to play. Baerga didn’t have a problem getting guys fired up. He was never one of those guys that said, ‘that’s not my job.’ He did things others hadn’t done before.”
His impact on the field was just as — if not more — incredible. A switch hitter, Baerga was the first (of only three players) to have ever hit a home run from both sides of the plate in the same inning. He had back-to-back seasons with 200 or more hits; Kenny Lofton, in 1996, is the only Indians player to accomplish the feat since Baerga.
“In 1993, he had cellulitis after fouling a ball off his leg with 199 hits. He spent five days in the hospital and on the sixth day came out and got his 200th hit,” said Indians Director of Media Relations Bart Swain. “That 200 was a magical number for him. Most guys would have shut it down, but Carlos gutted it out and got his 200th hit legging out a swinging bunt down the third base line in the last game at the old stadium.”
“Whether leading the team in hits or hustling from first to third, Carlos was in constant motion,” DiBiasio said. “Most remember Carlos’ highlights on the field — hitting homers from both sides of the plate in one inning to set a Major League record or producing seasons for a second baseman that rivaled baseball legend Rogers Hornsby — but my memories of Carlos focus on what an incredible teammate he was. Always smiling, always keeping the clubhouse a fun place to be. And when our franchise suffered the tragic deaths of Steve Olin and Tim Crews, it was Carlos who represented his teammates at a press conference the morning following the accident. Few have worn the Cleveland Indians uniform with more pride than Carlos.”
Baerga currently works as an Alumni Ambassador for the club and is assisting new manager Terry Francona’s staff at Spring Training in Goodyear, Arizona. Most recently, he was named Manager of the Year in la Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente Walker in Puerto Rico.
Out in Goodyear, it seems Baerga’s passion has been revived. “Having (new outfielder Nick) Swisher here reminds me of the energy and enthusiasm that Carlos brought day in and day out,” Swain said.
“He has never changed,” Hamilton added. “That’s why you knew it was genuine.”
Baerga will be honored in a ceremony before the Indians’ game against the Minnesota Twins and later will be recognized in Heritage Park, behind the center field wall at Progressive Field. Sincerest congratulations to Carlos Baerga on being the 39th member inducted into the Indians Hall of Fame.
–TribeVibe contributor Courtney Shilling
Although this will be my fourth year working in professional baseball, with two different franchises, one thing will never change: I’m still a fan at heart. After all the long hours of working six, seven or sometimes eight or nine-game homestands, I’m still able to sit down on a night off and watch a baseball game without hesitation. True, it’s a different perspective but when it comes down to it I’m still the same fan I was when I was a 10 year old kid going to ballgames with my dad.
This job enables me to experience some pretty cool things, such as getting a sneak peek at some of the things that you all will be able to experience in 2012 at Progressive Field. I was able to attend the “What’s New” media press conference today and took in everything I heard not from the perspective of a member of the Baseball Information Department, but as a fan.
When I do attend a game over the summer, off the job and as a fan, the first thing that crosses my mind when I get to the ballpark is what item (or sometimes items) from the concession stand am I going to indulge in that evening. Today at the media event, some of the new food coming to Progressive Field was unveiled and I have to say it was some of the best ballpark food I’ve ever tasted. You have to try the Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese (for those interested you can find it in sections 121, 154, 163, and 550). Trust me, it was as good as it sounds and if you are heading down to Progressive Field during the first homestand (5/5-5/11) you can get the mac and cheese for $2(It’s normally $4.50, but still way worth it). After eating quite a bit of that, I sampled the items that will be featured in the new Food Network Hot Dog and Sausage Bar. I had an Italian Sausage with peppers and onions that was delicious. These will definitely be my go-to food selections throughout the season.
Here is my plate:
Another thing that I love about coming to games is when it happens to be a giveaway night. There isn’t a better feeling as a fan than walking through the gate, ticket in hand, and being handed that night’s promotional item. In 2012, you all will have the chance to pick up some cool things, including the bobbleheads of fan-favorites Asdrubal Cabrera, Joe Carter, Carlos Baerga, Sandy Alomar, Jr. and Gaylord Perry. I have to say, Cabrera’s, which depicts the bare-handed stab in the hole that started a 6-4-3 DP is pretty awesome looking. The other major promotion unveiled today were the replica jerseys of Carlos Santana, Charles Nagy and Justin Masterson. These jerseys are easily the most authentic looking replica jerseys I’ve ever seen. Something to keep in mind, these items will only be available to the first 15,000 fans, so check the schedule and be sure to get to the ballpark early.
Here is a picture of the Asdrubal Cabrera Bobblehead, I dare you to say it’s not awesome:
(Photos courtesy of Ian A. C. Johnson/Cleveland Indians)
There were many other things presented today but these were my favorites so be sure to check this stuff out, you won’t regret it. After all, my job aside I’m just like you guys, I’m still a fan at heart.
-Danny Steele, Member of Baseball Information Department, Contributor to TribeVibe