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Issue Date: April 2006 Issue


Editor's Column


Steve Gleydura
gleydura@clevelandmagazine.com

Beauty is ....

Opening Day — on a Friday.

The way a pitcher swipes his spikes across the rubber, clearing the dirt with the anticipation of a ballerina just before the music starts.

John Adams bobblehead — with electronic drum beat.

Waiting outside the players parking lot with your kids for autographs after a victory, hearing their excitement as they call out, “Victor, Victor,” and seeing their joy when they pull back their signed card, hat or ball.

Script “I” pretzels with Bertman’s Ball Park Mustard.

Ticket six packs. Better than a Great Lakes Brewing Co. sampler pack, you get your favorite games whether you enjoy fireworks, bobbleheads or beating the Yanks and Red Sox.

Jhonny Peralta playing shortstop until 2010. At 24, he set the club record for home runs in a season for a shortstop and had the second-highest slugging percentage in franchise history behind Hall of Famer Lou Boudreau.

The First Pitch Luncheon (April 11 at the Wolstein Center) — the only time all season the entire team is available for autographs in one place.

Eric Wedge’s unwavering confidence that this team can win the Central Division and get in the playoffs. (Yes, the World Champion Chicago White Sox are still in our division.) “On our best day, we can beat any other team on their best day,” Wedge said in a recent interview.

One huge scoreboard.

Walking through the turnstiles in left field as Jacobs Field opens itself before you: long alternating cuts of outfield grass, perfect white chalk lines and infield dirt groomed like a Hollywood starlet on Oscar night.

Every single Major League Baseball game broadcast live via the Internet for $14.95.

Pronk. After being hit in the head on July 16 and spending the rest of the month on the DL last season, Travis Hafner hit .296 (59-for-199) with 19 doubles, 15 homers and 45 RBI in 54 games — while fighting through bouts of dizziness and headaches. The symptoms have disappeared and now that his elbow has healed, he’s expecting to play 20 to 30 games at first base this season.

Fitted caps. Come on, people, do you buy pants with an adjustable waistband? There’s nothing stylish about a ballcap with Velcro or those little plastic snaps. Find a hat that fits and wear it.

All the plastic cars and climbing gear in KidsLand, which makes nine innings go a little faster for someone under 10.

Victor Martinez’s unique handshakes for each member of the team.

Easing back into your seat after a Friday night game for fireworks at the ballpark.

Cliff Lee becomes the team’s first 20-game winner since Gaylord Perry in 1974. Bet you thought I’d say C.C. Sabathia here, right? Sure, it’d be just as pretty if it were C.C. who broke the drought, but Lee has a nasty repertoire and none of C.C.’s training issues.

Picking up two bags of peanuts — for the price of one inside the park — from one of the

vendors along Prospect as you walk over to the game.

The Batter’s Eye Bar.

Fausto Carmona, Jeremy Sowers and Jeremie Guthrie waiting in Triple-A in case the starting pitching doesn’t hold up like last season (when five pitchers made an amazing 158 of 162 starts).

The vest jersey. It’s comfortable, stylish and chic. Plus, what man doesn’t look good in a vest?

Grady’s dimples. (Surprised it took me this long, huh?) Now don’t get the wrong idea: While throngs of women are wooed by Grady Sizemore’s boyish good looks, I know that if Grady’s smiling, good things are happening for the Tribe. You know, like when he stole home last year against Toronto. Or how he roams the outfield like a hawk in search of prey. Or how he was only the second Indians player with 20 doubles, 20 homers, 20 steals and 10 triples in the same season. (Or how more women at the ballpark isn’t a bad thing either.)

It’s baseball season!


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