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Long days at the yard
May 22, 2014 - Zach Baker
A few minutes after Al Alburquerque was called for a balk that forced in Asdrubal Cabrera and gave the Indians a win over the Tigers, I got a text from my brother.
He was at Progressive Field Thursday, enduring all 13 innings of the spring afternoon's contest. He told me he was being "rewarded" for staying the whole game.
Thirteen innings? More than five hours? Yeah, great.
Where was this attitude 19 years ago?
It was my brother who, at the tender age of 13, didn't put up a fuss -- as I had been known to do -- when my parents suggested we call it a day when the Tribe and Twins went to the 15th inning on May 7, 1995.
That game ended up going 17 innings, but we left before the end -- and thus, got no reward for being there.
I looked that game up tonight, and found some tidbits from the box score that were -- to me -- interesting.
* The game featured three players who are now in the Hall of Fame: Kirby Puckett, Dave Winfield and Eddie Murray. Jim Thome likely is to join that group in a few years. Omar Vizquel has a shot as well. Some believe Kenny Lofton could make the Hall, but I don't see it.
* The Twins lineup featured Indians past (Alex Cole, who went 3 for 9 at the plate) and future (Marty Cordova, who homered and doubled).
* Thome was 1 for 7 in the game, before being pinch hit for -- with David Bell. Bell was, at the time, one of the Indians top prospects, and in fact would have a decent career, though not in Cleveland. He would, however, help net the Indians Ken Hill in a July trade with the Cardinals. Still, pinch hitting for Jim Thome at all seems ludicrous, though manager Mike Hargrove was for a long time under the impression the world would end if JT faced a lefty.
* It'd be silly to call it a career game for Murray, since he had so many games like this, but he had four hits, two homers, five RBIs.
* The game was the Indians' 10th of the season, and you could tell that Jose Mesa hadn't quite cemented himself as the closer just yet. Hargrove let him throw 3 1/3 innings. He didn't allow a run. Hargrove stopped using Mesa like that soon after, but he later did throw three scoreless innings against the Braves in that year's World Series.
* Personal note: As soon as Kenny Lofton's single drove in Manny Ramirez with the winning run, I began to believe maybe this year would be different. The Indians only were 6-4, but they usually lost games like this. And soon after the Indians began dominating.
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