The Indians and the Mets: Kindred Spirits

By Bill Leahy

Jacobs fieldThis coming Sunday afternoon, April 17, I will attend my first Cleveland Indians game of the 2016 season at Progressive Field. The Tribe will be entertaining the 2015 National League champion New York Mets. It will be an interesting series between the two teams widely regarded as having the two best young starting pitching staffs in Major League Baseball.

It is more than that, however. The history of the long suffering Tribe fans has been extensively chronicled, including the heartbreaking 1997 World Series when the cash-fueled Florida Marlins defeated the Indians on a walk-off single by Edgar Renteria in the 11th inning of Game 7.

MetsThe Mets started their baseball life in 1962 as a dramatically incompetent expansion team, prompting their frustrated Manager, Casey Stengel, to ask, “Can anybody here play this game?” In 1969, the Amazin’ Mets shocked the world by defeating the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles in the World Series. The road the Mets have travelled since has been marred by many potholes and orange barrels. I feel their pain.

I bear no animus towards the New York Mets. Indeed, I enjoy New York thoroughly and appreciate the Mets’ role as mightily striving stepchild to the affluent, perceptibly arrogant New York Yankees. As a Chicago native, I grew up despising the athletes attired in pinstripes with a single, superimposed “NY” on their jerseys. After my family’s move to Cleveland, the success of Cleveland native George Steinbrenner in re-establishing the Yankees’ dynasty only served to rub salt into a long festering wound.

As further evidence of a kindred relationship with Tribe followers, the Mets can properly lay claim to the legacy of the Giants and Dodgers, whose legions of followers were rightly appalled when the notorious Quislings, Horace Stoneham and Walter O’Malley, heeded the cry of “Westward Ho!” and abandoned the friendly confines of the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field. We citizens of northeast Ohio can identify with that kind of abiding sorrow, having lost our beloved Browns to notorious turncoat Art Modell and the moneychangers in Baltimore in a “dead of night” 1994 exodus.


4th Generation Indians fan, my grandson Luke.

In considerable measure, therefore, Mets and Tribe fans are cut from the same cloth so, on April 17, I’ll relax in my first base, first row box seat provided by my generous sister and savor the greatest game ever invented. May the best squad win, so long as it is attired in red and blue with a block “C” etched on its caps.

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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine, Heather Leahy Zachariah, left her career in publishing after baby number number one. She now works from home as a freelance graphic designer and a chauffeur to her 3 busy kids. "Working on TipsFromTown has been a wonderful outlet for me. It renewed my love of publishing where I can design colorful, enticing pages online and allows me to share the things I love about being a mom." Heather grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place that still is near and dear to her. " After living in Brooklyn for 18 years and studying Graphic Design at Pratt Institute, she now lives in the Jersey burbs. "I love living so close to NYC, but in my heart, I'm an Ohio girl."


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