Tribe fever high in Valley for Indians home opener

First pitch for the Indians home opener is Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Cleveland Indians

STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – First pitch for the Indians home opener will be thrown Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

Tribe fans have been waiting anxiously for this day — and die-hard Tribe fan and Struthers teacher Richard Gage is excited about another season.

Gage made news last season when his students — past and present — pulled together to send him to the World Series. The Tribe didn’t win, but Gage said the experience was an amazing opportunity.

“The atmosphere was the most electric atmosphere and surreal atmosphere I’ve ever experienced at a baseball game,” Gage said.

Gage’s students raised more than $2,500 to get him two tickets to the World Series.

“I never thought in a million years they would succeed. I thought it was a very nice gesture. In less than 48 hours, I was looking up my Indians tickets,” Gage said.

Although the Indians weren’t World Series Champions, Gage has high hopes for the team this year.

“I’ve already watched all four games this year,” Gage said. “I think they have better pitching, which is key when you are playing October baseball.”

Gage says the Indians are the team to beat in the American League and sees a path once again to the World Series.

Gage said Francisco Lindor is his favorite player.

The Indians take on the Chicago White Sox. Game time is 4:10 p.m. Gates open at 2 p.m.

THINGS TO KNOW FOR THE INDIANS HOME OPENER:

The City of Cleveland expects heavy traffic, increase in pedestrians, and more visitors for the Cleveland Indians home opener against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, April 11. The City encourages public transportation and carpooling to ease traffic congestion and recommends motorists allow extra travel time during the downtown commute.

Parking restrictions: Effective Tuesday, April 11 from 12:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Those parked illegally will be towed:

  • East 4th Street from Prospect Avenue to Huron Road
  • East 9th Street from Carnegie Avenue to Superior Avenue, both sides
  • Prospect Avenue from East 14th Street to Ontario Street, both sides
  • Huron Road between Ontario Street and Prospect Avenue, both sides
  • Carnegie Avenue from East 14th Street to East 9th Street, both sides

HEADING TO THE BIG LEAGUE

There are a few names on the Indians roster who played right here in the Valley. The Mahoning Valley Scrappers play a big role in player development and many athletes are able to make their way up in the ranks to the Indians organization.

Former Scrappers players that ended up on the Indians roster include Francisco Lindor, Cody Allen, Josh Tomlin, Jose Ramirez, Tyler Naquin, Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall – nine in all.

Scrappers General Manager Jordan Taylor said seeing so many former scrappers head to the big leagues give him that proud parent feeling.

“It is really great to see players who got their start here in the Mahoning Valley advance all the way to the big leagues and really contribute to a really strong, major league club,” Taylor said.

The Scrappers are getting ready for their season too. The home opener is June 21. Single game tickets go on sale Friday, April 14.

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