Now that football is over – at least until training camp opens in just over five months – and professional basketball never really got off the ground, it's time to turn our attention to the good old Tribe, who begin spring training in just a couple of weeks.
Those of you who read this column – and I'd like to thank all three of you; you're wonderful relatives, really – will recall that my last effort focused on memories from a Browns AFC Championship game. By request, I've been asked to write a similar piece about the Indians. (Truth be told, I've been requested by readers on occasion to do a variety of things; unfortunately, most of those requests are pleas for me NOT to write).
I gave it some thought – minimal, as usual – and soon realized that I hadn't really witnessed any awesome Tribe moments live and in person. But what I can tell you about, friends, are some of the events I could have been at, but for reasons only a shrink could explain, oddly chose not to attend. Of course, when you consider that I didn't realize beforehand that these would be memorable events, the shame and guilt isn't quite as bad, but the truth is, it still hurts.
So, without further ado, let's sneak a chronological peak at my sordidly snafu'd past:
Still Kickin' Myself Item No. 1: June 10, 1966. My brother and a bunch of his friends were going to the Indians game that night with a Westlake teacher, whose name I don't recall. Someone bailed, and I was offered the ticket to join them. I declined, as I think maybe "Get Smart" was on that night. Besides, I was a strapping thirteen-year-old who would have been stuck with a bunch of kids three years younger than me. Man, I had a reputation to think about. Of course, my reputation took a bit of a hit when people found out I'd turned down a chance to witness Sonny Siebert no-hit Frank Howard and the Washington Senators, 2-0.
Still Kickin' Myself Item No. 2: June 4, 1974: My pals and I seriously considered attending a promotion the Indians (in their infinite wisdom) had dreamt up. We had all turned 21 that year so we figured Ten Cent Beer Night would be right up our alley. But when you think about it, at that age – for us – virtually EVERY night was beer night, so we figured, "What's the big deal?" Missed out on a riot and a rare modern-day forfeit (and probably some serious jail time).
Still Kickin' Myself Item No. 3: July 19, 1974: As Yogi Berra might have said, "It's déjà vu all over again." A buddy of mine and I had tickets to watch the Oakland A's (eventual World Series winners that year) battle the Tribe down at the Stadium. Realizing how expensive and watered-down the brewskies would be once we got inside, we opted to hit a nearby bar for "one or two" before heading in. The bar stools must have been really comfy, because we were content to listen to it on the radio (no local TV that night) and cheer on the Tribe at the bar. Dick Bosman no-hit Reggie Jackson, Joe Rudi, and the rest of the A's, 4-0.
I know it sounds incredible – that one person could have witnessed not one, but TWO no-hitters – and opted out on both. I wish I could say I made this up but, trust me, I don't just sit around making up stories.
I usually have to get up and walk a while in order to do that.
Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!