Ronald Reagan was president, Whitney Houston released her first album, the underdog Kansas City Royals defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1985 World Series. The next year, news breaks of the Iran-Contra Affair, Mike Tyson wins the WBC Title, and the New York Mets need seven games (and a legendary error in Game 6) to defeat the scrappy Boston Red Sox to win it all.
Thirty years. Thirty-one years. Seems like a long time ago… until a Cleveland fan gets an assignment to write something about the Indians that can tie into the current baseball landscape.
In 1985, the Indians were 37 years removed from their last World Series. Hell, the Indians 1948 World Series Championship happened before the Mets or Royals even existed. It would be easy to pen another tale of woe, from another sad, jilted Indians fan. It would take almost no imagination for me to tell you my age1I’m 34. I remember when Pauly Shore was funny. and add up all those Cleveland championships that don’t exist, as if the city’s bare trophy case is justification for a lifetime of whining about sports. If I wanted to spend the next 500 words typing different combinations of “Only in Cleveland2OIC also stands for Opiod Induced Constipation, which probably also explains a lot about Cleveland fanhood.,” I could finish this column in my sleep.
Nope. I’m here to give Indians fans hope. Or, at least take away the hopelessness.
Only half of the teams in baseball have been around for as long as the Indians, which was chartered as the Cleveland Blues in 19013The Yankees are the youngest old team in baseball, with a start date of 1903.4I Hate the Yankees. That leaves a robust 15 teams that didn’t even exist before 1962. I’ll spare you the list that compares World Series Championships against league tenure. Instead, let me say that the Indians are a few unlucky bounces away from the same historical success that the Royals and Mets are experiencing this season.
Kansas City had a good ten year run, then disappeared for three generations before their recent turnaround. While the Mets haven’t even mustered a string of consistent success, instead scattering eight playoff appearances – and two championships – over 54 years. That’s what baseball is like if you’re not the Yankees527 championships gets tossed around a lot, but the Evil Empire has an astounding 40 WS appearances., Cardinals, Giants, or Dodgers.
It’s been a tough road lately for Tribe fans, but Jose Mesa’s blown save is certainly no worse than Bill Buckner’s error. Those Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner contracts don’t really stack up to the horror that Bartman inflicted upon the Chicago Cubs. It took 86 years for the Red Sox to lift the Curse of the Bambino, which is 85 years and 10 months longer than it took Francisco Lindor to the majors in 2015.
Being a sports fan in Cleveland is hard, it’s the fanhood equivalent of living paycheck to paycheck. Every season we sit on the couch and daydream about all those things we’ll do with the next season. It’s a stressful way to pay the bills and to root for teams. But next payday… let’s just say there’s hope for that vacation we’ve all been dreaming for.
World Series History stuff – Baseball Reference
|↑1||I’m 34. I remember when Pauly Shore was funny.|
|↑2||OIC also stands for Opiod Induced Constipation, which probably also explains a lot about Cleveland fanhood.|
|↑3||The Yankees are the youngest old team in baseball, with a start date of 1903.|
|↑4||I Hate the Yankees|
|↑5||27 championships gets tossed around a lot, but the Evil Empire has an astounding 40 WS appearances.|