We re less than a month from Opening Day, so it s time to start previewing the season. Inspired by an old feature on The Black Table, we re going team-by-team and distributing Four Things You Don t Know about them. If you have suggested oddities on your team, send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Today: The Cleveland Indians.
• 1. They're the Only Team With a Bobble-Arm Day. Bleacher season ticket holder and perennial drum banger John Adams will have his own promotion day on July 9, when you can secure your very own John Adams "Bobble Arm" doll. Adams has been sitting in the bleachers with the same weathered drum since 1973. We guess that having a bobble-appendage modeled after you is what you get for showing such devotion to a team that bad for over 30 years.
• 2. They Have No Clue About the Whole Mascot Thing. Their logo has been a point of controversy for decades, and they stubbornly refused to change it — even though it resembles a Native American version of Stepin Fetchit. But at least we know what that's supposed to be. Their on-field mascots, a visitor from Hell called Slider and a demented, talking baseball, are just confusing and sad. They did come up with Ten Cent Beer Night (June 4, 1974) however, so it's not all bad.
• 3. They Know Their Rocks. Pitcher Scott Sauerbeck graduated from Miami University of Ohio with a bachelors degree of science in Geology. Meanwhile, pitcher Kazuhito Tadano attended Rikkyo University in Tokyo, where earned a degree in travel and tourism. In the U.S. we simply call that skipping class. (Tadano is, of course, famous for other pursuits as well.)
• 4. The Had Baseball's Oldest Rookie. On July 9, 1948, Satchel Paige took the mound for the Indians, after 20 years behind the color barrier. He relieved Bob Lemon un the top of the fifth, went two innings, allowed two hits, no walks and no runs. He was the first African-American to pitch in the American League.
(Monday: The New York Mets)