It is a long way off, but on August 1st Sandy Alomar will be honored by the Cleveland Indians. I couldn’t be happier as Sandy represents the greatest era of Indians baseball in my lifetime. Sandy easily could have turned into another one of those Cleveland nightmare stories. He was part of a trade that saw Joe Carter leave town. That certainly could have spelled disaster for the franchise if Sandy Alomar and Carlos Baerga hadn’t worked out. And even though Joe Carter went and won a World Series in Toronto in 1991 and the Indians with Sandy Alomar as one of their main anchors did not, it would be impossible to call the decade of Sandy Alomar in Cleveland any kind of failure.
From 1990 to the year 2000 Sandy Alomar played for the Tribe. Over that time, Sandy had 944 hits, 92 homers and 453 RBI. He had a 277 average as a member of the Indians. More importantly, Sandy Alomar was a catcher with leadership abilities, a great attitude and heart for days. He did all those things that couldn’t be captured in box scores. He worked with pitchers amazingly. He was by all accounts a great teammate and over time developed into another coach on the field with his baseball knowledge.
Some of the more negative fans will probably note his injury history and how he wasn’t always able to play in as many games as we would have liked. I prefer to think about his amazing season in 1997. He batted .324 for the year and was responsible for one of my proudest moments ever as a Tribe fan. The All-Star game was in Cleveland and Sandy Alomar scored the MVP trophy after blasting a two-run shot that turned out to be the game winner. I have goose bumps as I type this and I am equally ticked that I can’t find a vid on YouTube. I just remember it landing in the bleachers and the scramble of fans to grab the ball. I remember seeing the stands just bouncing like the mosh pit at a Rage Against the Machine show. The stadium surely seemed like it could implode at any time following that homer.
I am so happy that the Tribe is putting Sandy Alomar in the Indians hall of fame. It is well-deserved because Alomar gave us all these types of memories. I could go on and on about others, but I will leave it there. August 1st is a ways off, but I will put it on my calendar and try to be there. Everyone else who was given as much as I was by Sandy Alomar should try and be there too.