Tribe Time: Valley catches Indians fever

Many of Cleveland's core players got their start with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers

Cleveland Indians celebrate after defeating the Detroit Tigers 7-4 in a baseball game in Detroit, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. The Indians clinched the AL Central. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Cleveland Indians players celebrate after beating the Detroit Tigers 7-4 after a baseball game in Detroit, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Cleveland Indians are playing baseball in October and it has created a frenzy across northeast Ohio.

Would the Indians even be in the playoffs without that 14-game win-streak in June? That’s where the excitement started building — and right now, it’s at its highest point.

“The more they win, the busier we get,” Buffalo Wild Wings’ Steve Barringer said. “Especially now that the Cavs won the championship. definitely more of a following.”

The Indians regularly sold out Progressive Field (formerly know as Jacobs Field) during the late 1990’s. The playoffs were common from 1995-2001 when Albert Belle and the Indians were pounding the baseball all over the park.

“This team actually reminds me a lot of that team just by the way they come back at the end of games,” said Pete Latessa of Hubbard. “They seem to fight all the way through the whole game — the whole nine innings. So I’m pretty excited about it.”

Today’s stars include a group which got their professional start with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. At one time this season, 10 of the 25 players on the Indians’ roster had been a Scrapper.

“This is, I feel, the most major league players we’ve had at any one time that are former Scrappers,” said Jordan Taylor, Scrappers general manager. “If you look at the roster right now, some of the biggest contributors from [Jason] Kipnis to [Francisco] Lindor, [Cody] Allen, [Josh] Tomlin, [Jose] Ramirez — just a few to name who are impacting the major league club and it’s great to see that they got their start here in the Mahoning Valley.”

Thursday night during Game 1 against the Boston Red Sox, three former Scrappers hit home runs in the Indians’ victory. Fans hope the winning continues all the way to the World Series.

“Cleveland is the city of champions,” Rodd Meyer of Howland said. “Basketball, now baseball. It’s awesome. And probably in about 10 years, football.”

The Indians haven’t won a World Series title since 1948. They played for the championship in 1997, but lost to the Florida Marlins in Game 7.

Game 2 vs. Boston started at 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

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