Results tagged ‘ Cleveland Indians Charities ’

Brad Hamilton’s big day tops storylines from 2014 CIC Hardball Classic

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By Alex Gimenez

Cleveland Indians/TribeVibe

It’s been quite a year thus far for the Hamilton family.

Indians play-by-play man Tom Hamilton was honored with his sixth Ohio Sportscaster of the Year Award by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. His oldest son, Nick, has continued to develop in the Indians farm system and received a start with the big league club in Spring Training with his proud father watching from the press box.

Most recently, Hamilton’s youngest son, Brad, a senior and starting catcher at Avon Lake, made a splash at Progressive Field through the Cleveland Indians Charities Hardball Classic, presented by Novacare Rehabilitation.

As part of a family with strong ties to Northeast Ohio, Brad grew up living in the shadows of Progressive Field, coming out to the ballpark in the summers once school had closed out for the year. The allure of Major League Baseball hooked the youngest Hamilton and helped to drive him towards a future in the game. The opportunity to play at Progressive Field thus carried with it some extra emotions.

“This is just an awesome experience, getting to play where we all grew up watching the Tribe and wishing we could play on that field. It’s a really neat opportunity,” he said of the experience.

Brad is unquestionably a leader on the Shoremen varsity baseball team. As a senior, team captain and catcher, he is charged with managing not only his pitching staff but the entire Avon Lake roster, and it is clear that his teammates look up to his leadership both on and off the field. On the field, he has done quite well for himself, following in his brother’s footsteps by earning an offer to play for Kent State as a member of the Golden Flashes baseball team.

With high school baseball season just under way in Northeast Ohio after one of the harshest winters in recent memory, Brad and his Avon Lake teammates were faced with an early test, taking on a powerhouse St. Ignatius. The Shoremen had lost this same matchup at the big-league ballpark last season, and in what would amount to his final high school game here, Brad wanted nothing more than a victory for his team.

Standing underneath the ballpark in the Indians batting cages, Brad was living the life of a big leaguer. He was hitting in the same batting cages that many of the players he’d looked up to over the years had used during their stay with the Tribe. Moments later, he walked out towards the home bullpen to warm up his starting pitcher, Avon Lake ace Logan DeLong, following the same path that Tribe great Sandy Alomar Jr. might have taken to warm up Charles Nagy before an early April Indians game in the 1990s.

“Bradley was so excited about getting to warm up his pitcher in the bullpen and hitting under the ballpark in the batting cages, all things that when you are around the game you take for granted,” Tom Hamilton said. “Every kid dreams of being able to play in the big leagues and they got to experience what that would be like for a day.”

 

Brad Hamilton was behind the plate for the first pitch, and it would not take much longer for him to take center stage in the ballgame, where he struck early and often. In the bottom of the first, Avon Lake loaded the bases with nobody out, bringing Hamilton to the plate. Standing confidently in the box, he lined a two-run single into left-center field to put the Shoremen on the board. The rally would continue as Avon pushed across a total of five runs in the first inning.

Not wasting any time, Hamilton came to the plate in the second inning, again with the bases loaded. On the first pitch, he drove a ball into the gap in left-center field, driving home two more runs to give his team a 7-0 lead. The hit wound up being the game-winner as Avon Lake held on for a 7-5 victory, and Hamilton would finish 2-3 with 4 RBIs.

“It was an unbelievable experience and to get the win is just a bonus,” he said. “I was really happy with everyone’s approach, the guys really battled before me and I was just lucky to be in that situation [to drive in the winning runs].”

The Hamilton family is enjoying a strong year in baseball this year, but understand very well that this game can be unrelenting, with every hitting streak there comes a slump and with success there comes failure.

“We’ve been very blessed and we know how fortunate we are. Baseball is a game with many ups and downs and my kids know that, and we cherish that the boys have had these great experiences thus far this year,” said Tom Hamilton.

Since 1989, CIC has donated nearly $10 million to youth-oriented agencies and organizations of Northeast Ohio, including a $1 million donation in April 2012 to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland’s “Save the Kids” campaign. Additionally, Cleveland Metropolitan School District high school baseball and softball programs are made possible due to the multi-million-dollar commitment from CIC.

Hardball Classic game recaps

Avon Lake 7, St. Ignatius 5

Avon Lake struck first in the bottom of the first inning with five runs off of Ignatius starter Bennett Kinzel. After loading the bases with nobody out, Hamilton delivered a two-run single to get the scoring started. In the second, Hamilton again delivered for Avon Lake with the bases loaded, driving in two more runs to give the Shoremen a 7-0 lead. Hamilton would finish the day at 2-3 with 4 RBI.

“I don’t know if you can find a hotter hitter in baseball in Northeast Ohio,” Avon Lake head coach Jay Fowler said of Hamilton . “He’s a fabulous talent and a hard worker, and we’re just really happy for him.”

For the Shoremen, starter and ace Logan DeLong worked a scoreless first inning before being lifted from the game to preserve his arm after throwing earlier in the week. He was relieved by Logan Montague, who worked four strong innings, surrendering just one run on six hits.

Trailing by six in the sixth, Ignatius would rally for four runs off of Shoremen reliever Logan Cherni to make it a two-run game. Nick Longo led off the inning with a walk, then swiped second base and scored on a throwing error to ignite the Ignatius offense. Jake Kucia then singled home a run followed by a Sam Fuller two-run double to cap off the scoring for the Wildcats.

Leading by two, Avon Lake put the game into the hands of sophomore reliever James O’Connor, who was making his second appearance for the Varsity team. O’Connor delivered in a big spot, shutting down the Ignatius sixth-inning rally and returning in the seventh to close out the game retiring all four batters he faced.

University School 4, Gilmour Academy 0

In Friday’s Hardball Classic nightcap, Gilmour Academy and University School faced off under the lights of Progressive Field. With school out for the weekend, students from both schools were out in full force to support their teams, lining the home and visiting dugouts creating a playoff-like atmosphere for the players.

Pitching dominated the first two innings, as starters Brandon Jaces and Chandler Waszak traded zeroes for Gilmour and University respectively. Waszak had the strikeout pitch working, retiring five of his first six outs via the strikeout; Jaces pitched to contact.

In the top of the third, the Preppers struck first, scoring two runs on a well-hit ball to deep left-center field off the bat of Waszak. Andrew Domonkos followed with an RBI single to make it 3-0. In the fifth, Domonkos helped University tack on an insurance run with an RBI double to make it 4-0.

Waszak was a force to be reckoned with on the mound throughout, holding the Lancers to just five hits. In the bottom of the sixth, Waszak faced his biggest test of the game, allowing runners to reach second and third with nobody out. He retired the next three batters without surrendering a run on two groundouts and a strikeout, his 12th of the game. He finished with 13 punchouts.

“This is probably one of the first and only times I’ll be playing in a Major League stadium and to be able to come out here and play as well as we did was awesome,” Waszak said of his team’s performance.

For University Head Coach Ben Boka, the opportunity for his players to play at Progressive Field was special.

“This certainly is a tremendous place to play and these boys really appreciate the opportunity to come out here and play and it really makes them come out and play the best that they can,” said Boka.

Elyria Catholic 12, Highland 2

The Panthers scored nine runs in the third inning on their way to the victory over the Hornets. EC won for the second year in a row in the Hardball Classic; the Panthers beat Berea, 10-0, in last year’s event. Noah Bland had two triples and three RBI.

 

Tweet using #Whiff + @Indians to help Cleveland’s kids

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Major League Baseball and Head & Shoulders are teaming up for another “Season of the #Whiff” and we want you to get involved!

What is a whiff?

A whiff is the “swoosh” of the bat hitting nothing but air. Think of a terrible miss in a backyard game of whiffle ball, and you’ll hear a whiff.

While whiffs may be bad news for a hitter, whiffs are wonderful for a pitching staff — and now they could help kids in the Cleveland area get to play the game we all know and love. The MLB clubs with the highest whiff totals each month will earn funding for their local RBI program from Head & Shoulders!

What is the RBI program?

The Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program was designed by Major League Baseball to increase participation and interest in baseball and softball among underserved youth.

Cleveland Indians Charities (CIC) and the Cleveland Baseball Federation team up to operate the local RBI and Rookie League programs that provide youth team-oriented activities while challenging them academically and physically. Kids are also required to attend educational seminars that stress positive social interaction, health issues, and the importance of staying in school. More than 4,500 Cleveland-area boys and girls participate in RBI and Rookie League each year.

How can I help?

Simply by including “#WHIFF + @Indians” in your tweets (or retweeting others who do) you could help raise thousands of dollars for Cleveland area kids! You can include “#Whiff + @Indians” in up to 27 tweets per day (per account) to count toward the Tribe’s whiff total.

The team with the highest total of #Whiff tweets each month will earn thousands of dollars for their local RBI chapter! Here’s the breakdown of dollar distribution for whiff leaders each month, April through September:

  • 1st Place: $10,000
  • 2nd Place: $7,500
  • 3rd Place: $7,500
  • 4th Place: $5,000
  • 5th Place: $5,000
  • 6th Place: $2,500
  • 7th Place: $2,500

Follow @HSforMen on Twitter to track @Indians‘ progress or visit Head & Shoulders “Season of the #Whiff” page at http://www.mlb.com/whiff.

Now get tweeting!

– TribeVibe contributor Courtney Shilling

On #GivingTuesday, give local youth the chance to play baseball or softball through Catch 25!

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What better gift to give on #GivingTuesday than the gift of baseball? For $25, you can give that gift to a local boy or girl in the form of Little League baseball or softball.

Cleveland Indians Charities introduced its “Catch 25” campaign earlier this season, and has raised thousands of dollars to fund baseball or softball for Cleveland youth.

And as the nation’s attention turns to Giving Tuesday, there still is time to donate for more kids to have the opportunity to play in 2014.

“Cleveland Indians Charities embraces its responsibility to serve and is dedicated to shaping children’s lives through the games of baseball and softball,” said REBECCA KODYSH, the Indians Executive Director of Community Impact. “These contributions make a major impact on the lives of Cleveland-area children.”

To donate, visit Indians.com/Catch25. To ensure secure transactions, an Indians.com user name and password are necessary to donate. For those wishing to donate but who do not have an Indians.com account, signing up is easy at Indians.com.

The Catch 25 campaign reflects the continued commitment of Cleveland Indians Charities to the Indians organization’s four Guiding Commitments, one of which is to positively impact the community and provide essential opportunities to Cleveland-area youth.

Established in 1989, CIC partners with groups in Northeast Ohio to jointly create and execute youth educational and recreational opportunities. These programs help young people learn to play the game of baseball, develop necessary life skills, learn responsibility, and develop confidence to face today’s hurdles.

Through the years, CIC has raised money at a variety of fundraising events and is aided by the generosity of donors including Cleveland Indians players, coaches, fans, Front Office personnel and corporate partners.

Since 1989, CIC has donated nearly $9 million to youth-oriented agencies and organizations of Northeast Ohio, including a $1 million donation last April to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland’s “Save the Kids” campaign. Additionally, high school baseball and softball in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District are alive only because of the multi-million-dollar commitment made by the Indians organization.

Tribe front office spends Thursday rehabilitating two East Side homes

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Thirty members of the Indians front office spent Thursday out of the office on Cleveland’s East Side, helping rehabilitate two homes in conjunction with Rebuilding Together.

One home, owned by a special education teacher at Cleveland’s Glenville High School, got a fresh coat of paint on trim and dormers, plus improvements to drywall and floors on the interior. Downspouts and gutters also were repaired.

The other home is owned by a woman named Gloria who uses the adjacent lot to raise a garden, whose wares she sells at a farmer’s market. Her home got new paint on the interior, plus some improvements to the rear of the home’s siding and porch areas.

“This is usually one of the most popular events we participate in for our employees,” said Justin Sherman, coordinator of the Tribe’s Community Outreach department. “To get out in the community and make a tangible difference in people’s lives is a great feeling.”

The effort was part of the Indians commitment to the Cleveland and Northeast Ohio communities. Through the organization’s Community Outreach department, each member of the Indians front volunteers at various activities throughout each year, including Rebuilding Together.

Additionally, through Cleveland Indians Charities, the Indians have raised millions of dollars to support various youth activities, including complete funding of Cleveland Metropolitan School District baseball and softball and supporting Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities and more.

Rebuilding Together is a a national nonprofit with a network of nearly 225 affiliates across the United States; its mission is to preserve affordable housing by bringing volunteers, organizations and communities together to restore the home of low-income homeowners. Homeowners are chosen through an application process.

–TribeVibe contributor Joel Hammond

Memorable moments from the Tribe’s first half

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It’s been a whirlwind nine months for the Cleveland Indians organization, starting in October with Terry Francona and ending on Sunday with the Tribe’s sixth series sweep of the 2013 season, over Kansas City.

Having won four in a row, the Indians entered the All-Star break with two representatives, Jason Kipnis and Justin Masterson, in New York and a 51-44 record, good enough for second place in the AL Central. Detroit leads and is 1½ games ahead.

Given a few days to take a breather, here are some of our picks for the club’s most memorable moments of the first half:

SPRING TRAINING

Nick Swisher orchestrates Harlem Shake: Tribe Town 216 Edition – To say this one went viral would be an understatement. Personally, we loved Terry’s dancing the best, as did most of you!

APRIL

April 10: Mariano Rivera meets Indians staff in Yankees’ final visit to Progressive Field – Or, what we thought was their final visit. In his season-long farewell tour, Rivera insisted on meeting with longtime staff members at each club the Yanks visited. They returned to Cleveland on May 13 to make up rainouts, but Rivera showed he’s a class act by fielding questions from longtime Indians employees.

April 12: Swisher’s walkoff single – Already beloved in Cleveland after signing in December, Swisher’s walkoff single gave the Indians a 1-0 victory over the White Sox at Progressive Field on a cold Friday night. It also clinched the first of three complete-game shutouts in the first half by Masterson – and provided a fantastic highlight after Swisher did his best airplane imitation.

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Photo Gallery: RBI East Regional Tournament at Progressive Field

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Cleveland Indians Charities, Cleveland Baseball Federation and Progressive Field played host to the East Regional Tournament championship games in the RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) World Series on Monday.

Twelve teams will competed in three divisions: Junior Baseball (13-15 year olds); Senior Baseball (16-18 year olds); and Softball (19 and under), with the baseball championship games being played at the ballpark Monday.

Winners from each division in the RBI Regionals, local tournaments in eight designated areas around the country (Central, East, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest and West) and the Caribbean, will have earned berths to participate in the championship tournaments.

RBI is a main beneficiary of Cleveland Indians Charities, which is in its 25th year. Since 1989, CIC has donated nearly $9 million to youth-oriented agencies and organizations of Northeast Ohio. Additionally, high school baseball and softball in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District are alive only because of the multi-million-dollar commitment made by the Indians organization.

–Photos by Dan Mendlik

Sights and sounds from Cleveland Indians Charities Celebrity Golf Classic

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Canfield native Andy Bell is congratulated by Carlos Baerga after his hole-in-one on No. 16 on Quail Hollow’s Weiskopf course.

Cleveland Indians Charities played host to its annual CIC Celebrity Golf Classic at Quail Hollow Country Club on Thursday, with nearly 300 golfers taking part in 18 holes on the club’s Weiskopf and Devlin courses.

Here are some sights and sounds from our team on the course:

Off to a rocking start

Andy Bell stood on the Weiskopf Course’s No. 16, a 163-yard Par 3, with an ominous sign standing next to the tee box. It said: “$10,000 for a hole in one.”

And  then his tee shot, with a 6-iron, bounced twice and dropped in. A fun day for the Canfield, Ohio, native and guest of sponsor Yuengling.

It was his second career hole-in-one, the other in league play in 1996. He’d played in the event a few times before, including with Dave Burba . The celebrity in his group this year was former reliever Mike Jackson.

Bell also won closest-to-the-pin on the 16th, too, obviously. That prize was a signed picture of Justin Masterson. He then was interviewed by Fox 8.

All in all, not a bad day.

Mills/Francona razzing

Terry Francona, asked before the round how he would play, said he’d play OK. Every time I saw him, he was all over the flagstick.

He even found time to give his old buddy and Tribe third base coach Brad Mills some putting tips on the 12th. Check out this Vine of the lesson.

Drennan’s crew

Part of my role at the event Thursday was to assist Bruce Drennan and his “All Bets are Off” crew line up interviews with various celebrities in the morning and follow him for good chunks of his round.

It’s a pressure-packed role: Last year, Drennan reportedly nailed two eagles in a row – but his crew missed it. According to a witness, “The outrage on the first eagle was high; on the second, the outrage was out of control.”

This year, we caught up with the group midway through their round, just in time for Drennan to get a fortuitous bounce on his approach on the eighth to about 20 feet below the hole. Each member of the group missed the putt.

Later, Drennan said his group used his drive, his approach and his putt early on the back nine … and we were filming another group. Oops.

Darius Ellison from the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland.

Darius Ellison from the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland.

Touching moment

Ron Soeder, president of The Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland, one of the main beneficiaries of Cleveland Indians Charities, was on hand for the post-event festivities. With him was Darius Ellison, the Boys and Girls Clubs Youth of the Year, and Ellison gave a moving speech to the crowd of over 250 golfers about what the club and CIC has meant to him.

Ellison will attend Eastern Michigan University in the fall.

Clubber Kluber?

One golfer, who played in Corey Kluber’s group, was upset during the post-event announcements when longest drive awards were handed out.

The gentleman swore that Kluber, who’s allowed just one run in his last 16 innings pitched, was bombing the ball at least 350 yards.

We’ll follow up with Corey to confirm or deny.

Indians staff all played really, really well

I asked many members of the Tribe’s staff how they played at Quail, and most of them dishonestly said, “really well.” Only Premium Seating Sales Account Executive Jeff Kauzlarich told the truth: “I played awful, but I had a lot of fun.”

Also: Ryan Robbins, our Director of Premium Seating, never listened to his mom’s sunscreen lectures.

–TribeVibe contributor Joel Hammond

Help Cleveland Indians Charities Battle for Ohio with Bob Evans

The Cleveland Indians face the Cincinnati Reds in the Battle for Ohio May 27th through May 30th — and now you can get in on the competition too!

Through our partnership with Bob Evans, we will be holding a fundraiser on May 28th and 29th for Cleveland Indians Charities. Any person that brings in a flyer (either paper or on their phone – see the image below) 15% of their bill will go to CIC.

Bob Evans

The money raised will be donated in a check presentation prior to the game against the Washington Nationals on Father’s Day.

Find more information on how CIC makes a difference in the lives of children growing up in our community by clicking here.

Michael Bourn introduced as newest Indians player

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Michael Bourn (and his son) introduced as newest members of the Cleveland Indians.

The Indians introduced Outfielder Michael Bourn as the newest member of the team today in an afternoon press conference at the club’s Spring Training facility in Goodyear, Arizona. The Bourn signing was made official Friday, as he signed a 4-year contract, with a club option for the 2017 season.

Bourn, Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti, and Bourn’s agent Scott Boras were on hand at the press conference and explained how the signing came together, and their plans for 2013 and beyond.

New Indians Outfielder Michael Bourn:

On signing for the Indians…

“I want to thank the Dolan family for giving me the opportunity to play in Cleveland, and be a part of their organization, and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity. It was a long off-season for me, but it was fun, and it was an experience. It taught me patience – it taught me a lot – but it was interesting. I landed in the spot I think that I wanted, and that was my main focus – somebody that wants me, somebody that’s committed to me, and I’m committed to them. And I’m ready to rock and roll here for them.

On where he was expecting to sign…

“Every team was on my radar when the process began, so yes [the Indians] were on my radar. I knew they were trying to compete, and any team that’s trying to compete, I’m with them. Like you said, I’m a competitor. That’s what my father taught me since I was little, so any team that’s trying to win, I want to be a part of.

“I had a good supporting cast with my mom, my dad, my girlfriend, my little boy; he always keeps a smile on my face. It was just something I had to go through, a process I had to just let unfold. I feel like I landed in a place that wants me, a place I want to be, a place with a lot of talent that has a chance to do some good things.”

On playing in an outfield with Michael Brantley and Drew Stubbs:

“Yes of course, you always want to be next to people that can play it out, I come from that with Martin [Prado] and [Jason] Heyward. I think with this one I have even more speed out there, both of those players can run, they run just like I run, so it will be exciting to watch.”

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MLB Authenticators work to ensure the validity of rare autographed items

Photo by Ian A.C. Johnson

Ever wonder how an autographed or game-used item is deemed “authentic” by Major League Baseball and its clubs?

Well, for those in the market for such an item, there is a small sticker to look for on each item which guarantees its authenticity. Each club in MLB has a group of official Authenticators, whose job is to keep track of autographed and game-used items to confirm that they are genuine.

Linda Kaspar is one of four authenticators assigned to the Indians. One authenticator is required to be on hand at each game, and Kaspar rotates with her colleagues to split up the 81 home games.

“We have to be present,” she explained. “We have to witness everything that is either signed or comes off the field as it comes off the field to make sure that it’s valid, and the person signing it is the real person.”

Kaspar, like many of her co-workers, is a retired Cleveland Police Officer, and she has worked in this role with the Indians for the past five seasons.

“I happened to know somebody that was going for an interview for an authenticator [position], and they needed more people so I was asked to come to the interview and I got hired,” said Kaspar.

These authenticated items are often an important fundraising source for charity organizations that wish to raise money by selling similar items. Having the official sticker to mark an item’s legitimacy is an important way to protect both fans and the charity organizations.

Cleveland Indians Charities uses the money raised through a series of auctions to fund programs such as the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s baseball and softball programs, as well as making a significant annual donation to the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland.

Currently, there are several authenticated items available through the Indians official online auction, with proceeds from each benefiting CIC and its partner programs.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the current auction items.

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