The Land | Teen Ink

The Land

October 11, 2018
By noahan13 BRONZE, Lambertville, Michigan
noahan13 BRONZE, Lambertville, Michigan
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

My love for baseball looks like a cool October night in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Just my dad and I sitting in the stands of Progressive Field. I, wearing my tomato-red Indians throwback jersey, cheer on the Indians while eating a Sugardale hot dog and drinking a refreshing Mountain Dew. As if time suddenly froze, Cleveland’s hero, Francisco Lindor casually walked up to home plate. His nickname is “Mr. Smile” for a reason. His personality is continuous amounts of laughter and smiles. Rarely will you ever see him be serious on the baseball field. Sure, he hits 35 home runs every year, plays Platinum Glove-like defense, hits above .300, but it’s his personality that has the whole world cheering for him. The defensive wizard can be seen almost at all times smiling or laughing with a teammate. He doesn’t care that he stands at 5’11”, he cares about other people. He is focused not on an MVP vote, but on the youth in Puerto Rico. Because of this, he is spoken of in high regards by everybody. He may only be 24 years old, but he carries himself as a professional who does all the right things.


The All-Star shortstop from Caguas, Puerto Rico steps up the the white plate, while wearing EvoShield's finest protection gear. In less than 60 seconds, the city of Cleveland will erupt in deafening cheers. The 6'3" Chad Green from Greenville, South Carolina hurls the ever-so-precious sphere in the direction of the All-Star shortstop. He locates the spherical object in a half second and puts his Lindy12 Pro Model, Marucci's finest handcrafted maple, on the ball. As I was unfortunately looking down, I hear an exuberant yell from my fellow Indians fans. At that very moment, I look up and see the pearly-white ball headed for the 45 foot yellow pole in right field. The ball clanks against the yellow metal and I see a wave of arms in "The Corner" surge up towards the sky. The crowd of 35,000 Clevelanders erupts as the shortstop trots around the bases pointing his fingers, covered in Franklin's finest leather, towards the crowd. As he reaches home plate, the stadium speakers make four Super Mario coin sounds. Francisco Lindor, being mobbed by 20 of his closest friends, heads back to the underground dugout and gives the ringmaster, Terry Francona, a big hug and they compare hand size. As other Clevelanders North Face jackets rub against my own, searing fire shoots out from the center field bullpens. I give high-fives to people I’ve never met before as not a single person cares about ones history. As we watch on from hundreds of yards, my skin starts to shiver, because of what I have just witnessed. On the biggest stage of his life, Francisco Lindor has done the unthinkable. Although that was arguably the greatest moment in recent Cleveland sports years, the Indians were still trailing the competitive Yankees. Things were about to get corybantic in “The Land”, when free agent signing Jay Bruce strolled to the dish.

The day started when I reluctantly arose from my queen sized mattress on an average October Friday. Except, this night would be nothing short of spectacular. As I prepared myself for school, all I could think about was leaving school early to head down to Cleveland, Ohio. When my monotonous History class came to a close, my dad showed up in the crowded school parking lot. I met him outside with a smile on my face and we were ready to go. As many Americans would, we stopped at the wonderful McDonald’s restaurant to grab a pair of almost warm muffins with “eggs” and “sausage”. The two hour drive felt like it took an eternity. As we arrived to Progressive Field on the corner of Carnegie and Ontario, we looked for a finite parking spot. While we were waiting for the left field gates to open up, I noticed how much energy was surrounding the city of Cleveland. Main roads were blocked off with circular, orange, cylinders. It seemed like everyone and their brother decided to watch what would soon be an instant classic. Before the game, I headed down to the team shop in hopes of obtaining some new gear. When I realized that everything was overpriced, I headed back to the left field bleachers as the smells of pizza and hotdogs breezed past my nose. On what was predicted to be an overcast day, the skies cleared up in anticipation of some playoff baseball. Typically, the first couple innings of a baseball game are low scoring and not very rousing. But this was no ordinary game.

After five long innings of watching the Yankees destroy Indians pitchers, fans started to get impatient. With the Yankees winning by four runs, Francisco Lindor had enough of it. He had heroically put the Indians in front by a run. As the Indians pitching staff continued to have a undesirable day, the score was knotted at seven heading into the bottom of the seventh. The former Met, Jay Bruce, marched to home plate. After swinging a scorching hot bat to end the regular season, he looked to continue his prosperity. In hopes of becoming an icon in Cleveland forever, he turned around on a fastball and put it in the left field bleachers, eight rows in front of me. Was Jay Bruce getting booed after putting the Indians in the lead? No. Every fan in the stadium started yelling “Bruuuuuuuuuuuuce”. The score remained fixed until the 13th inning. Fans were growing restless, as they had been there for more than four hours and counting. The highly touted backstop, Yan Gomes, reluctantly strolled to the plate to face one of baseball’s best hurlers, Dellin Betances. Betances’ pitches and pitch execution was otherworldly. His famous slider was known to move from one batter’s box to the other. With the underrated free agent pickup, Austin Jackson, at second base, the Brazilian catcher took a 3-2 pitch into left field. The Yankees third baseman had a chance to make an iconic diving play to save the game, but the task was too tall for the 5’8” Ronald Torreyes. When the ball reached the well-manicured grass in left field, the crowd went into a frenzy. There was a mobbing at second base, which sent paper cups of Gatorade and baby powder flying everywhere. As legendary Indians radio announcer, Tom Hamilton, said Gomes “sent the fans home happy”.

The author's comments:

This article is based off of an experience I had at a Cleveland Indians playoff game against the Yankees.

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