Results tagged ‘ MLB ’

New face Anna Bolton: Indians Translator and Player Engagement Coordinator

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Even though Anna Bolton is still settling into her new position with the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland and Progressive Field (plus the many road cities she visits) are already home.

Bolton joined the Indians organization in May as the MLB Translator & Player Engagement Coordinator for the team — a position that MLB mandated for all teams this year.

When Bolton, who is never seen without a smile, isn’t at Progressive Field, she’s traveling with the team, but we were lucky enough to catch-up with her to learn more about her background and role with the Indians.

Indians: Tell us a little bit about your background and previous experiences.

Anna Bolton: I was a teacher before I began working with the Indians’ major league team. I taught middle school ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) and Dual Language Kindergarten and First Grade in North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida.  

I also have spent a lot of time in the Dominican Republic, which is where I learned most of my Spanish. I first visited the country when I was 15 years old and have returned numerous times on mission trips, vacation, for a college semester abroad and lived in Santo Domingo for most of 2010. While living in Santo Domingo I ran children’s programs, frequently traveled to Haiti to participate in earthquake relief efforts, and taught English and American Culture in the Indians Dominican Academy.

In the Indians Academy, I taught Latino prospects who had signed with the team as International Free Agents. Young signees usually spend a year or two in the Dominican Academy preparing to come to the US to play in our minor league system.  There were about 35 players living at the academy and attending my classes, and they included Danny Salazar, Jose Ramirez, and Erik Gonzalez.

Indians: What got you interested in foreign languages/translating, and when did you decide to pursue it as a career?

AB: When I first went to the Dominican Republic as a 15 year old, I knew a little bit of Spanish from school and was able to communicate to some extent with Dominicans, but was often frustrated because I was unable to speak fluently and understanding them was often difficult. I knew that I was going to return to the DR, so this motivated me to seek out jobs and volunteer opportunities that allowed me to work with Latinos and speak Spanish.

I kind of got into translating and interpreting by accident.  As I am often the only bilingual person in a room of Spanish and English speakers, I frequently am asked to interpret. I always have enjoyed and seen the value in facilitating conversation for people who would otherwise not be able to communicate, so translating and interpreting eventually became a natural career choice.

Indians: What are some of your main responsibilities with the Indians?

AB: I am always available to interpret when the media is around for pre-game and post-game interviews. I have had conversations with the native Spanish speaking players about how I can be an asset for them during interviews. For some, I interpret everything in the interview. For others I just stand nearby to interpret questions that they don’t understand and answers that they prefer to give in Spanish, or feed them a word when they can’t think of it in English. A few native Spanish-speakers who always give interviews in English have asked me to just listen in and give them feedback afterwards on what they can improve on. 

In addition, our Spanish-speaking players know that I am available to answer questions or help them with anything from our travel itinerary on the road to getting their walk-up music to the scoreboard crew. I also translate documents for the Executive Offices from English to Spanish, work with all players’ wives and families, and play a role with both the Communications and Community Impact Departments.

Indians: What is your favorite part of your position?

AB: There are so many great aspects of this job and I am thankful that I have this opportunity to work in baseball and for such a great organization.  There are many things that I love about it, but my favorite is that I have daily opportunities to make life a little bit easier for our Spanish-speaking players. I like that they know that I am available for them if they need help doing, saying or understanding something and that I am able to relieve some of the stress that comes with living and working in a foreign country.

Indians: What has been the most rewarding part of your new role?

AB: Because of the language barrier, fans often do not have the opportunity to get to know Latino players on MLB teams the same way that they know English-speaking players. I love that I am able to give fans a chance to hear the more in-depth responses that they are able to give in their first language, and that fans are able to see a bit more of their personalities.  It is also rewarding to know that Spanish-speaking players feel more comfortable giving interviews and communicating when I am around.  

Indians: What has been your best or most memorable experience with the Indians so far?

AB: Since I used to be their teacher, I have truly enjoyed seeing Jose Ramirez, Erik Gonzalez and Danny Salazar flourish this season. It is difficult to describe the pride that a teacher feels when seeing a student reach life-long goals, but I am fortunate to be a part of this with all three of these players that I have known since they were teens. Witnessing first-hand Danny’s joy after he made the All-Star team, interpreting for Jose during his first ever post-game on-field interview and welcoming Erik to the Indians after he got called up from AAA are moments that I will always cherish and be grateful for.

Indians: Since you travel with the team, what have been some of your favorite places you’ve visited? Where do you like to go in road cities?

AB: My favorite two cities that I’ve traveled to with the team so far are Seattle and Toronto. Seattle is a fascinating city and Safeco Field is a beautiful ballpark. We stay at a hotel downtown near the water and there are so many attractions within walking distance. Toronto is huge and I didn’t have as much time to explore the city as I hoped due to that infamous 19 inning game, but our hotel is only a couple blocks from the field and I enjoyed walking to work each day and the parts of the city that I was able to see.

When we play night games, I am usually free during the mornings and early afternoons on the road. I try to find a good local place for breakfast, take a yoga class and see a few sights before heading to the field for the evening.

 

See Anna in action here — translating Jose Ramirez’s first ever post-game on-field interview! 

 

-TribeVibe contributor Hailey Ellis

Cleveland Indians announce 2016 Honorary Bat Girl

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Major League Baseball announced the winners of the 2016 Honorary Bat Girl contest, which recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and who demonstrate a commitment to supporting the fight against the disease. Winners have been selected to represent each of the 30 MLB Clubs and will be recognized on-field at Major League ballparks on Sunday, Mother’s Day.

Fans from across the United States and in Canada shared inspirational stories of hope and motivation in their experiences in the fight against breast cancer, as well as the reasons they, or their nominees, should represent their favorite team.

Eva Johnson was selected as the Indians Honorary Bat Girl and will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Sunday. A Tampa, Fla., native, Johnson’s family originally hails from Cleveland and she’s been a lifelong Tribe fan.

Johnson, who has been cancer-free for the past three years, was nominated by her sister, who refers to Johnson as her hero. In August 2013, Johnson was diagnosed with Stage 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer at age 30.

For the past three years Johnson never looked back or backed down from her battle. Johnson braved a double mastectomy, multiple weeks of radiation and a few reconstructive surgeries. During this process, Johnson has inspired many and continues to encourage others battling cancer. This Sunday, Johnson will celebrate Mother’s Day as the mother of a 6-year-old son.

The Honorary Bat Girl program was introduced in 2009 to raise additional awareness and support for the annual “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” initiative celebrated on Mother’s Day. In eight years, thousands of unique testimonials have been submitted and more than 3 million fan votes have been cast. Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is a Major League Baseball initiative supported by MLB charitable partners Stand Up To Cancer and Susan G. Komen. This initiative raises awareness about the breast cancer cause, while also raising funds to support breast cancer research.

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Cleveland Indians to expand fan safety plans at Progressive Field in conjunction with MLB’s Fan Safety Initiative

 

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Club to extend safety netting in areas behind home plate in accordance with MLB’s Fan Safety initiative

 Cleveland, OH—The Cleveland Indians have announced that the club will comply with Major League Baseball’s recently announced Fan Safety Initiative this season at Progressive Field.

Those plans include expanding the existing safety netting at the ballpark to meet recommendations set forth by the commissioner’s office.

“Our fans’ safety at Progressive Field has been and will continue to be a priority,” said Jim Folk, Indians Vice President of Ballpark Operations. “We’re pleased MLB and Commissioner Manfred continue to make safety a priority, and we’ll follow their recommendations on continuing to provide a safe environment for our fans.”

Safety netting will be extended to now cross the full length between the homeplate side of each dugout, while the canopy that protected seats behind home plate in previous seasons also will be extended.

While prioritizing fans’ safety with these new initiatives, the club also will employ the latest netting technology to minimize the intrusion on the live game experience at Progressive Field.

“We remain committed to delivering the best possible experience for our fans at Progressive Field,” Folk said. “We’re confident these measures will help us continue to provide a safe environment for our fans while also preserving the unique sightlines and accessibility of our ballpark.”

The Indians have begun a proactive communication process to alert all Indians Season Ticket Holders whose seats are affected by the expansion. Additionally, the club will continue to identify ways to educate fans attending games at Progressive Field about the dangers of batted balls and bats entering the stands. That will include in-park communication, ticket-back messaging and other avenues.

Michael Brantley named Cleveland Indians nominee for 2015 Hank Aaron Award

CI_082915 - -178Fans Can Vote Through October 11th at MLB.com; Award Recognizes Most Outstanding Offensive Performers in Each League

Hall of Fame Panel Led by Hank Aaron Includes 2015 Inductee Craig Biggio as well as Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Eddie Murray, Frank Thomas and Robin Yount

Major League Baseball and MLB Advanced Media announced that Michael Brantley was named the Cleveland Indians nominee for the 2015 Hank Aaron Award.

Brantley, a 2014 MVP finalist and Silver Slugger Award winner, led Major League Baseball in doubles (45), the first Indians player since Lou Boudreau in 1947 to do so. He ranked third in the American League in on-base percentage (.379), fourth in average (.310), sixth in batting with men on base (.329), 10th in batting with runners in scoring position (.324) and 11th in OPS (.859). After registering four hits on April 26 and July 22, he now has 10 career four-hit games.

Fans can vote for the 2015 Hank Aaron Award exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites. For the sixth straight year, a special panel of Hall of Fame players led by Hank Aaron will join fans in voting for the award, which is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball and has recognized the most outstanding offensive performer in each League since it was established in 1999.

The Hall of Fame panel led by Aaron includes some of the greatest offensive players of all-time –Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Craig Biggio, Eddie Murray, Frank Thomas and Robin Yount.  These Hall of Famers – who combined for 16,697 hits, 8,712 RBI and 2,166 home runs – have all been personally selected by Aaron to lend their expertise to select the best offensive performer in each League.

Continuing through October 11th, fans will have the opportunity to select one American League and one National League winner from a list comprising of one finalist per Club. The winners of the 2015 Hank Aaron Award will be announced during the 2015 World Series.

Combined, the nominees have been named All-Stars 90 times, including 16 2015 All-Stars. The group also features 20 players under the age of 30 with five (Arenado, Correa, Harper, Herrera and Trout) under the age of 25. The finalists for the 2015 Hank Aaron Award are:

American League National League
Baltimore Orioles Chris Davis Arizona Diamondbacks Paul Goldschmidt
Boston Red Sox David Ortiz Atlanta Braves Freddie Freeman
Chicago White Sox Jose Abreu Chicago Cubs Anthony Rizzo
Cleveland Indians Michael Brantley Cincinnati Reds Joey Votto
Detroit Tigers Miguel Cabrera Colorado Rockies Nolan Arenado
Houston Astros Carlos Correa Los Angeles Dodgers Adrian Gonzalez
Kansas City Royals Lorenzo Cain Miami Marlins Dee Gordon
LA Angels of Anaheim Mike Trout Milwaukee Brewers Ryan Braun
Minnesota Twins Brian Dozier New York Mets Curtis Granderson
New York Yankees Brian McCann Philadelphia Phillies Odubel Herrera
Oakland Athletics Josh Reddick Pittsburgh Pirates Andrew McCutchen
Seattle Mariners Nelson Cruz St. Louis Cardinals Matt Carpenter
Tampa Bay Rays Logan Forsythe San Diego Padres Matt Kemp
Texas Rangers Prince Fielder San Francisco Giants Buster Posey
Toronto Blue Jays Josh Donaldson Washington Nationals Bryce Harper

 

Past winners of the Hank Aaron Award include: Giancarlo Stanton and Mike Trout (2014); Miguel Cabrera and Paul Goldschmidt (2013); Cabrera and Buster Posey (2012); Jose Bautista and Matt Kemp (2011); Bautista and Joey Votto (2010); Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols (2009); Aramis Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis (2008); Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder (2007); Jeter and Ryan Howard (2006); David Ortiz and Andruw Jones (2005); Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds (2004); Rodriguez and Pujols (2003); Rodriguez and Bonds (2001-02); Carlos Delgado and Todd Helton (2000) and Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa (1999).

The Hank Aaron Award was introduced in 1999 to honor the 25th Anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, and, at that time, was the first major award introduced by Major League Baseball in more than 25 years.

Corey Kluber becomes the first MLB pitcher to reach #whiff in 2015

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We know Corey Kluber is a bona fide ace. We also know he has some of the nastiest stuff in baseball, and yet he still continues to impress us. Last night in KC, Kluber became the first Major League pitcher to reach 100 strikeouts for the season. With his 0-2 cutter to Drew Butera, Kluber notched his 100th K. Klubes immediately took a slight turn around the mound in his nonchalant fashion and proceeded to strike out the next batter. Would you expect anything else?

Although Kluber took the loss, he was credited with a complete game effort. After a rocky start, Kluber has come around recently and is striking out batters at an incredible rate. Check out his highlight reel from last night, 6/3:

Here are some numbers & facts for Kluber’s recent efforts:

+ Quickest Indians pitcher to 100 punchouts since Sam McDowell did it in 12 starts in 1970

+ 11.27 SO/9IP (5th in MLB)

+ 7.38 SO/BB Ratio (5th in MLB)

+ 31.2 Swing & Miss % (4th in MLB)

+ Since 2014 Kluber leads MLB in K’s with 365

-TribeVibe Contributor, Ryan Delgado

Cleveland Indians Honorary Bat Girl representative Alecia Dennis has inspiring story

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Alecia Dennis, a 26-year-old mother of one from the Columbus area, is the Indians representative in Major League Baseball’s 2015 Honorary Bat Girl Contest, which seeks to recognize those who have experienced cancer.

Her story is amazing; here it is, written by her husband, Colin Dennis, in his nomination for the contest:

I understand that any woman who has gone through breast cancer deserves this honor. They are all amazing and all deserve pampering.

However, let me tell you about my amazingly courageous wife, Alecia. She is 26 years old and was diagnosed with breast cancer back in October. She had a lumpectomy a couple weeks later.

After that was over, she started her battle with cancer with chemo. She had four treatments every other week that, once completed, then switched to a treatment every Monday for 12 weeks. We have three treatments remaining before she is finished with chemo; once chemo is over, we have decided to go ahead with a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. That will be another six months of pain and suffering that she has to go through.

If that wasn’t enough, let me tell you why she is the most courageous woman I know. She is going through all of this while still working at Capital University, taking classes two nights a week to get her MBA (one class is Monday night which is the same day of her chemo treatment), and she is the loving mother of a 1 ½-year-old.

If there is a stronger woman out there, I have not met her. She is truly an amazing woman who can take anything that is thrown at her. I am just lucky she keeps me around for the ride.

Tribe fan Charlene Wuthrich to be honored for “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer”

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Major League Baseball today announced the 31 winners of the 2014 Honorary Bat Girl Contest that recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrate a commitment to eradicating the disease. The winner of the Honorary Bat Girl Contest for the Cleveland Indians is Charlene Wuthrich, who will be recognized in a pre-game ceremony on Sunday, May 18.

Charlene is one of each MLB Club’s selected winners who will take part in pre-game activities, be honored during an on-field ceremony, and will receive pink MLB merchandise and two tickets to the game. Charlene, a life-long Indians fan from Sullivan Township who has had sheep named after Tribe players, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987. She had a double mastectomy performed in 1988 and since has worked tirelessly as an advocate for those dealing with cancer. She has facilitated the cancer support group at Ashland’s Samaritan Hospital, where she’s been a nurse for over 25 years. She’s also worked on the mobile mammogram van and twice has been chosen as the American Cancer Society’s Nurse of Hope.

Fans from across the country and Canada shared inspirational stories that provide hope and motivation in the fight against breast cancer, as well as the reasons they or their nominees should represent their favorite team. The Honorary Bat Girl winners were selected by fan votes on HonoraryBatGirl.com along with feedback from a Guest Judging Panel that included Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays, Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves, Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants, country music superstar and Atlanta Braves fan Jason Aldean, and Sam Ryan, MLB Network host and reporter.

Players and on-field personnel will wear the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms along with pink wrist bands. Commemorative base jewels and dugout lineup cards will also be pink. Games will use a pink stitched Rawlings baseball, the official ball of MLB, as the official game day baseball. Numerous MLB players will use pink bats and pink Louisville Slugger bats, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, will be stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo. Many of the game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats from Mother’s Day games that have been authenticated by MLB will be auctioned exclusively on MLB.com to benefit the fight against breast cancer.

The Honorary Bat Girl program was introduced in 2009 to raise additional awareness and support for the annual “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” initiative celebrated on Mother’s Day. In five years, thousands of unique testimonials have been submitted and more than 4 million fan votes have been cast. Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is a Major League Baseball initiative supported by its charitable partners Stand Up To Cancer and Susan G. Komen. This initiative raises awareness about the breast cancer cause, while also raising funds to support breast cancer research.

Tribe catcher Yan Gomes to promote baseball in Brazil this December

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Seven Major League Baseball players were chosen to represent MLB abroad this winter, with Cleveland Indians catcher Yan Gomes returning to his native country of Brazil, December 12-15.

Gomes will visit São Paulo to participate in various community events, including leading a clinic for children in Mogi das Cruzes — where Gomes first began playing baseball. He is the first Brazilian-born player in the Major Leagues, and faced off with the first Brazilian pitcher — the White Sox right-hander Andre Rienzo — in August.

Free agent reliever Latroy Hawkins will also head to Brazil as a pitching instructor in February. Other MLB ambassadors are set to share their passion for the game with fans in the Netherlands, France, China, and South Africa.

During this past season, Gomes said that Brazil’s qualification in this year’s World Baseball Classic was a stepping stone to the sport’s bright future in the country.

“It’s tough still because it’s not a very common sport in Brazil,” Gomes said. “Being in the big leagues definitely does help a little more because people kind of listen to you more. Especially this offseason, just [going to] make a huge effort to go there and try to show my face and explain a little of the sport.”

For more information on the MLB ambassador trips, please visit MLB.com.

— TribeVibe contributor Courtney Shilling

MLB and MTV announce multi-year partnership spotlighting the intersection of pop culture and baseball

Red Sox All-Star and 2013 World Series MVP David Ortiz and Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star Andrew McCutchen to Executive Produce New Weekly MTV2 Show from MLB Fan Cave during the 2014 Season

New York, NY – MTV and Major League Baseball (MLB) today announced a multi-year, cross-platform programming partnership that will bring fans inside the intersection of pop culture and baseball as their favorite MLB athletes and celebrities are featured across MTV’s platforms. To lead things off, Boston Red Sox DH and 2013 World Series MVP David Ortiz and Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star Centerfielder Andrew McCutchen will executive produce a new weekly, 30-episode series on MTV2, MTV’s sibling network that targets men with smart, funny and relevant content, that is slated to debut in April 2014. Shot in New York City from inside the MLB Fan Cave, MLB’s first-of-its-kind space that mixes baseball with music, pop culture, media, interactive technology and art, the new series will move beyond game analysis, stats and highlights to showcase MLB athletes off the field, spotlighting the stars’ personalities and passions through a series of player interviews and features, in addition to celebrity appearances.

“The MLB Fan Cave has been an enormous success in showcasing the personalities of our star players to young fans and intersecting baseball with pop culture,” said Tim Brosnan, Executive Vice President, Business, Major League Baseball. “Being able to partner with MTV on a weekly TV series will give us an opportunity to bring that concept to an even broader audience. We are excited to work with the creative team at MTV to develop content that our fans will enjoy.”

“As sports and pop culture increasingly collide, we’re thrilled to partner with MLB to cover baseball through a uniquely MTV lens,” said Stephen Friedman, President of MTV. “We will blur the lines between lifestyle and sports entertainment, spotlighting MLB’s most exciting players in a way fans have never seen before.

“Music is a passion of mine so when I was asked to be involved in a show that brings baseball to MTV, I jumped at it,” said Andrew McCutchen. “It is going to be a lot of fun to show a different side of baseball and the players.”

David Ortiz added, “Players want to be musicians and the musicians want to be players. So it’s going to be pretty easy to get my friends in baseball to have some fun on MTV.”

Content from the new partnership will live on-air and online across MTV’s channels and platforms – MTV, MTV2, mtvU, MTV Hits and MTV Jams – integrating MLB players into existing shows and events, in addition to the development of upcoming specials, weekend programming and more.

Details on additional elements of the MLB and MTV partnership will be announced at a later date. For more information, please visit MLB.com, MTV.com or MTVPress.com.

Tribe drops prices on dogs and suds; fans go wild

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The Cleveland Indians announced they are rolling back the price of concessions at Progressive Field early this morning and the interwebs have been abuzz ever since. The $4 beers, $3 hot dogs, $2 soda refills and 15 $1 dog nights (presented by Sugardale!) have shown fans a concerted effort by the club, both on and off the field, to keep fans happy at the ballpark. “We’ve asked our fans what they want most in their ballpark experience at Progressive Field, and more affordable concessions prices routinely top the list,” said Indians president Mark Shapiro. “This is a way for us to let fans know we’re listening to them and that we value them.”

TribeVibe is listening too! Here’s a snippet of the response to these changes:

If you’d like to partake in the excitement, single-game tickets are still available via Indians.com, by calling 216-420-HITS (4487) or by visiting any Indians Team Shop. If you’re on the hunt for the Sugardale Dollar Dog nights, the Indians’ promotion schedule can be viewed  here.

We’ll see you at the ballpark!

— TribeVibe contributor Courtney Shilling

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