In our busy daily lives its always fun and enjoyable to catch up with family and friends. Jobs, your own family and limited time and resources all play into the distance between us. When you are a baseball fan and spend eight months out of every year following your favorite team, you create a bond with the players. They almost become a part of our family in a sense that we know a lot about them and their personal lives. It creates a bond that grows stronger with time, but then one day their careers are over and they are gone. It creates a void in our lives that as the years go by makes fans wonder what they are doing now. For lucky Cleveland Indians fans, now you can see what your favorites of yesteryear are up to now.
This book is obviously a bit dated, but still a good resource for fans. Some of the 45 players interviewed for this book have since passed on, but it gives you a good feel for that individual players take on his own career and what happened after the spotlight burned out.
Russell Schneider picks 45 fan favorites, or as he likes to call them, the good old guys from the bad old days of the Cleveland Indians. Schneider does not just take the superstars from the Cleveland diamond, he also talks with those players who had very short careers with the Tribe. The one underlying theme in this book are these are definite fan favorites. Some of these players with marginal careers in the majors are still this day beloved by the fans in Cleveland.
From Ken Suarez and Eddie Leon to Jim Bibby and Super Joe Charboneau it gives a nice variety of personalities that got to call Cleveland home for a while. The author created this book from interviews with the former players and another theme holds true with them as well. Every one of them, no matter how bad the team was during their tenure, was proud to be a part of the Indians. It shows that even in the bad times, the pride a city and team can create for fans and players.
I think all baseball fans will like this one. Many of the players interviewed spent time outside of Cleveland so it will have a mass appeal to the fans of other teams. This book is a nice game of remember when, where you can catch up with some old friends that you haven’t heard from in a while.
You can get this book from the nice folks at Gray & Company Publishers
Cleveland fans have no illusions about their team history. The Indians were the doormat of the American League for decades. Flashes of greatness came and went, with nothing substantial to show for it. Happily, the fortunes changed in the decade of the 90’s. With the opening of a new stadium and new ownership breathing new life into the tired franchise, the Indians fans time had finally come. Well as with most things in life, all good things come to an end, and the Indians were in the crapper once again. Today’s book shows how the Indians took on a plan to rebuild again in hopes of finding new success on the field.
Terry Pluto loves his Indians. Being a home-grown Cleveland guy, he has taken on the Indians a few different times in his books and always produced quality, insightful results. Pluto’s newest topic is the rebuilding of the Indians after their success of the late 90’s and eventual decline due to the normal baseball shift of power. This book discusses ownership, players, management, the stadium and everything in between that has contributed to the downfall of the Cleveland Indians.
You can always tell through his writings that Terry Pluto is a homegrown Cleveland guy. That being said, it does not seem to have a negative effect on his work. You can see an intense passion towards the city and the team, as well as his personal caring about them. What it doesn’t do is incorporate any sort of bias about the team. He is quite honest in his assessments of the moves the Tribe has made and the final results of such moves. He is honest in his assessments of the players and management and the future plans of the team.
The most interesting aspect of this entire book was his look at ownership change and the newness of Jacobs field wearing off. It is interesting to see how these two things have such a great effect on the team you see on the field. Change in ownership can usher in a change of culture that affects the entire team. It effects who makes what decisions and that can wreck all sorts of havoc for a team. Also when a stadium loses its newness, naturally attendance will drop if the product on the field is not all that good and that is another challenge a team then has to overcome. These are all things every team will face at one point or another, and it’s actually something my Phillies are going through currently. This book is a little dated and the Indians are really now on the second round of rebuilding but the same basic principles and problems are still applicable. At least this time around they seem to be heading in the right direction.
This is a very good book and will easily appeal to Indians fans. Some general baseball fans may have a little trouble getting into it, but should really give it a chance, because eventually your own team will be facing the same problems and doing the exact same thing.
You can get this book from the nice folks at Gray & Company Publishers
In my last post we talked about how a stadium becomes like part of the family. These stadiums, that we talk about, are usually gone. But today, we are going to look at how progress and moving on, is not always a bad thing when it comes to a ball park.
Jacobs Field – History & Tradition at the Jake
Vince McKee – 2014 The History Press
Moving to the other end of Ohio, we take a look at Jacobs Field. Replacing Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, the Indians ushered in a new era of baseball in 1994 with the opening of the Jake. A new state of the art facility that fans and players could now call home and put to rest the bleak memories of Municipal Stadium. It brought about new hope and promises for the team and fans alike.
Vince McKee takes a very nice look at the events that have happened in the first 20 seasons at the new palace in Cleveland. It brought an era of post season baseball and superstars wanting to call Cleveland home. The author did not only make this a good times book. He also takes a look at what happens when after a sustained period of success how a team has to rebuild. The tear down and rebuilding process is never a pleasant one. It shows how through free agency and trades how one era ends and another one begins in the hopes of getting even better.
You see the sights, sounds and people who have made memories for the fans in the Jake’s first twenty seasons. You see why the fans who call it home love it. You see the civic pride that is derived from having a park this nice to call home. In the end this book really shows how a city desperate to have a respectable stadium of its own has embraced their new baseball palace. Change is not always good in terms of a baseball stadium. In the case of the Cleveland Indians change was needed and created a boost to both the team itself and the fan base, and both were long overdue. Indians fans will enjoy this and probably wonder where the first twenty seasons at the Jake really went.
You can get this book from the nice folks at The History Press