Every town that has sports fans has that one character. One person that spends their whole career in that town as a journalist, announcer or sometimes both. Fans relate to those types of people and after a certain amount of time consider them part of the family. A strong sports town like Cleveland has one of those types of people. Dan Coughlin has spent his life weaving himself into part of the fabric of Cleveland sports. Now he has a new book out re-living some of his greatest memories.
Coughlin, as mentioned above has spent his entire career and life for that matter in the Cleveland area. He has endeared himself to fans and become a part of the Ohio sports family. During his career he has covered more than just baseball as does this book, but I figured that he has also been such a mainstay in Cleveland baseball that his book should be acknowledged.
This is the third in Coughlin’s series of books where he looks back on the highlights of a career spent in Cleveland. He re-lives some of the great stories and characters that he crossed paths with through the decades. If you are from Cleveland or have spent any time in the area taking in the sports scene, you will really enjoy these stories.
Now for those of us who have never lived in Cleveland or witnessed Dan Coughlin’s work first hand, this book still has some appeal. You may not identify with Coughlin on as strong a level as Cleveland fans but you will still be able to enjoy the history contained in these stories. It gives outsiders an inside pass to what Cleveland sports has to offer behind the scenes. It also offers a history lesson about Cleveland sports that may be difficult to obtain on any other level except for a lifer at the heart of the action.
As I mentioned above, it does cover sports other than baseball. On the other hand it does offer a fun look at Cleveland sports and allows the reader to engage in the sports history of a new city. Readers should check it out, because there is is some funny stories contained in here as well as some detailed history.
You can get this book from the nice folks at Gray & Co Publishers
Every baseball fan has their team. Some people have more than one team, or an entire division, or league, but all fans pull for somebody. Some of those fans have it easier than others. Obviously Yankees fans with 27 World Series Championships to their credit, have an easier time pulling for their team then say Houston Astros fans. They have one World Series appearance in the last 50 plus years, so their dedication has a higher price. These are obviously two ends of the spectrum, but for other teams there have been prolonged slumps in that team’s history that has been difficult for fans to endure. The Cleveland Indians was one of those teams. From the mid 1950’s through the mid 90’s, fans endured a slump that they felt would never end. Most thought they were cursed when the Tribe made a bad trade and sent Rocky Colavito packing to Detroit, which brings me to today’s book.
Terry Pluto, writer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer is a homer in every sense of the word. He has had a life-long love affair with the Cleveland Indians and now writes about them on a daily basis. He has written several books about the Indians and this one is a real winner as far as I am concerned. Originally released in 1994 and updated in 2007, Pluto has chronicled the Indians stumble through the American League.
Starting in the 50’s with the Colavito trade the Indians operated on a shoestring budget, barely staying afloat in Cleveland and playing at cavernous Municipal Stadium. They put teams on the field that would make any beer leaguer proud. For over three decades they were the laughing-stock of the American League, always hoping for that promise of next year. Failed trades that left the Indians on the short end of the deal, prospects that never panned out, free agents signings that imploded, ownership changes every few years and Gabe Paul doing what he thought best all added up to miserable times to be a Indians fan. The Indians also were no strangers to money woes and poor attendance. All of these factors kept the Indians in the basement of the American League bailing out water as fast as they could. It is no wonder the fans of Cleveland were so excited in the 90’s when the Indians finally found success.
This is a fun book for all fans to read. If you are an Indians fan these are all probably very familiar stories for you. If you’re a fan of any other team, you will enjoy it because hey…….you are not an Indians fan. Check it out because you will gain new respect for the history of your own team and they may not be as bad as you thought they were.
You can get this book from the nice folks at Gray & Co.