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Issue Date: April 2008


Tribe Talk with Travis Hafner

Family is one of the most important things in life. Who raises you is who makes you who you are.

I would like to be a dad. I want to be somebody who can teach my kids good morals, hang out with them.
My parents have pretty much been in North Dakota their whole lives. When they come out to Cleveland, it’s almost overwhelming. They don’t get to experience anything like it often.

My approach to the game doesn’t change much during a hot streak or cold streak. My main goal is always to win that game that night. Every day you’re looking to play hard.

I go through probably 170 pairs of batting gloves in a season. Once I’m done with them, I give a lot of them to Victor Martinez, and he sends them to his hometown. I send a bunch back to my college.

My suitcase is a lot smaller than my wife’s.

For spring training, I’ve got two pairs of camouflage shorts, 10 wrestling T-shirts, two pairs of jeans, three Quicksilver shirts —those are my nice button-up shirts, which I get for free.

My wife is pretty cool with my dressing down. Sometimes for birthdays she’ll try to buy me a nicer shirt to wear, but I wear the same stuff. She’s given up on trying to influence my wardrobe.
I’ve always been a fan of wrestling. I was able to go backstage a few times, and I got to talk to Jerry Lawler. He’s a big Cleveland sports fan. I probably wouldn’t have been able to get backstage if I didn’t play for the Indians.

We’ve gotten to be pretty good friends. He came to my wedding. I know my nephews were pumped because they’re big wrestling fans.

It’s something special to play in front of a lot of fans.

Playing in front of less fans is harder. The worst was when I was in the Florida State League in 2000. You might get 100 to 200 people in a game. I was playing first base, and I could hear a conversation going on in the second row.

There are a ton of details that go on in any sport that the average fan wouldn’t realize. I talk to some friends I have at the Browns, and I’m amazed at all the little things that they talk about that I have no idea, and I watch the NFL all the time.

People on the bench might be talking about what the pitcher’s throwing first pitch, if he’s throwing a first-pitch curveball or what he likes to throw in different situations. We analyze every little detail, and we’re trying to take advantage of them during the game.

My favorite part of being a major league player is just the fact that I get to play baseball for a living. I love playing this game.

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