Spring means baseball and memories of seasons past

As a loyal Cleveland Indians fan, spring – in addition to the blooming of lilacs and the budding of trees – means baseball season. There is no sweeter sound than the crack of a bat as it sends a baseball over the fence at Progressive Field. Of course, the batter had better be an Indian's hitter.

My love of baseball goes back to the late forties when my grandmother would take me to afternoon games at Municipal Stadium. I loved the crowds, the peanuts, the popcorn, the players and the sense of excitement in the air. Those outings lasted through the 1956 season when I decided I was just too grown-up to go to ballgames with grandma. I saw Bob Feller, Bob Lemon, Bobby Avila, Minnie Minoso, Early Wynn, Luke Easter and Mike Garcia play.

I can't believe Cleveland has had a major league team since 1901. That's one hundred and ten years of professional baseball in our town. Originally called the Lake Shores, the team was also known as the Spiders and the Blues.

The Tribe played at League Park until moving to Municipal Stadium in 1946. We were the first team to break the color barrier in the American League, signing Larry Doby just eleven weeks after the Dodgers signed Jackie Robinson. I saw it all.

Although I am no longer able to navigate downtown to Progressive Field, I still cheer for the Tribe. Sportstime Ohio is my favorite channel during baseball season. Even though the Indians have had many rough seasons I still have hope. One of these years we will win our third World Series. Until then, I'm happy with the sound of "Play Ball." I've had a lifetime of Cleveland baseball. For me, it just doesn't get any better.

Dianne Borowski

Dianne Borowski lives in Bay Village.

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Volume 3, Issue 9, Posted 4:40 PM, 05.03.2011