I became aware of Cleveland sports in the '60s, and my earliest memory of those days was crawling under my blankets at night with a transistor radio and listening to Jimmy Dudley from the broadcast booth as I bravely tried to stay awake for the West Coast games, which routinely began at 11 p.m. back then. Invariably, of course, I would nod off and then wake up in the morning frustrated (and often with a dead battery), to search for some final result of the previous night's game.
And oh, the memory of those adolescent walks up the ramps of the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium, the blue sky above the far end of the horseshoe shape, and the first sight of the vast field of green grass and well-manicured infield! Of course, if it was August or later, the field was apt to be a little chewed up from Browns games having been played recently, and maybe that infield was not quite as pristine as it looked, if an overlooked cleat mark deflected the course of a hard ground ball into the hole at shortstop. But I was young and the Stadium was magical, and, long after the Lady has gone and been replaced by a new, football-only facility, memories linger, and memories are the things that link past to present and to future, they are the things that sustain us while new memories are waiting to be born.
On a weekly basis, I am going to be going way back and re-living the careers of some of the players who graced the Cleveland fields and courts of long ago. It is my hope that, in doing so, I will make you smile, and reminisce, and maybe remember, yourself, those perfect days when you found that you had become a fan of our sports for life. For you see, not only do I see that so-green field from long ago, but I see Fred Whitfield there, at first base with his huge-looking glove, and Vic Davillio patrolling center field, and Steve Hargan on the mound, warming up, dust from the resin bag settling at the back of the mound....
And I think I see Leon Wagner on deck...we will see more of him...next time as We Remember.