Cleveland sports teams success good for all of northeast Ohio

By William K. Alcorn


Bill Clemons was as excited watching the second game of the World Series between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs on a big-screen color TV as when he was 10, sitting in front of a 13-inch black and white TV watching his beloved Indians play the Boston Braves in the 1948 World Series.

“This is exciting. I love baseball, and I prefer small-ball. If you’re an Indians fan, you really get into it,” said Clemons of Boardman, watching the game at Buffalo Wild Wings in the Southern Park Mall.

Anthony Deniro of Boardman said all of his family, going back generations, are Indians fans, and he is continuing the tradition with his son, Anthony Jr., who accompanied his father, both decked out in Indians garb, to Buffalo Wild Wings to take in the second game of the World Series.

Deniro even goes so far as to record games that go late on a school night so Anthony Jr. can get up early and watch part of the game.

Deniro, who thinks the Series will go seven games with the Indians’ pitching making the difference, said “the fact that we have a chance to get two championships (the basketball Cavaliers and the Indians) will put Cleveland on the map and change people’s attitudes about the city and Northeast Ohio.”

An Indians fan all his life, Ed Lynch of Boardman said this is an exciting time again.

“It’ll be something to remember, especially since we have been waiting for so long. I hope the Indians do well,” he said.

Another long-suffering Cleveland sports fan, Jim Frklech of Campbell, said he has been waiting all his life for this.

Frklech also predicted the Series would go seven games, but said “if we had all of our pitchers, it would be over.”

A short drive to the Magic Tree Pub & Eatery on South Avenue found more Indians fans watching and cheering their team.

“We’re Cleveland fans, period,” said Jim Fox of Struthers and his friend, Melanie Banfield of Poland, both of whom think the Indians will win the Series in six games.

“I just can’t express how nice it (winning sports teams) is to bring people together. It’s awesome. I’m happy for Tribe fans everywhere. For so long, all we had to hold onto was the Ohio State University Buckeyes. But now, we’re getting our professional teams going,” said Banfield.

“It means a lot. It’s got people talking. Now, we have to get the Browns going,” Fox said.

Mark and Mary Ann Meyer of Boardman, formerly of Parma, say they are “die-hard Indians fans” who used to listen to spring training games on the radio.

“We went to the last Indians game at Municipal Stadium and the first game at Jacobs Field,” Mark said.

The Cavaliers National Basketball Association championship and the Indians in the World Series are “phenomenal for the area. It legitimizes sports in northeast Ohio,” he said.