Despite loss, optimism flows in Valley

By William K. Alcorn


A roar went up. There were high-fives all around at Buffalo Wild Wings in Austintown.

And Mary Swantek of Springfield breathed a sigh of relief when Jose Ramirez stroked a solo home run in the top of the second inning to give the Indians an early lead in Game 5 of the World Series.

Swantek was at Buffalo Wild Wings with her parents, Richard and Betty Conroy of Austintown, who have taken her to a lot of Indians games over the years, including opening day this season, which was snowed out.

“I always took my glove,” said Swantek, who played softball as a youth.

“I hope they finally do well. As long as we breathe there is hope,” said Richard, quoting Father Richard Murray, a priest at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Mineral Ridge.

Swantek, who went to a watch party Friday at Progressive Field in Cleveland with her husband, Brian, gave a thumbs-up when asked to predict the winner of Sunday’s game. The Indians, however, fell short, 3-2, sending the series back to Cleveland for Game 6 on Tuesday night.

“The Caveliers’ championship was fun, but this means more,” she said.

Greg and Karen Schesler of Cornersburg, who described themselves as long-suffering Indians fans who used to take their now-grown children, Michael of Pittsburgh and daughter Taylor Dozier, whose husband, Chris, is stationed with the Army in Germany, where the Scheslers believe they are watching or listening to the game.

Karen likes the Indians “because they work together.”

Greg predicted a Sunday win, and even when the Cubs took a 3-1 lead, he was confident the Indians would come back, even though he believes the officials are making a lot of calls that favor the Cubs.

Karen Segesto and Michele Frankford, both of Austintown, and Don Schtz of Mentor, all longtime Indians fans, occupied a table.

“Go Tribe ... whoo,” yelled Segesto, who, while she believes the Cubs have better pitching, predicted the game would be close and the Tribe would win by a 5-3 score.

“I love those guys. They have no egos,” said Segesto, who fell in love with the Indians in the 1990s when she took her son to the games. It takes me back,” she said.

Sitting around a table were Tyler Alejars of Austintown, Will Schrader of Cortland, Haley Palumbo of Liberty and Kylee Johnson of Austintown.

“I am more excited for the Indians than I was for the Cavaliers,” Alejars said.

“We should win. We have momentum,” Schrader said.

It was at that moment that Ram rez hit his home run.

“The Tribe is definitely going to win,” Frankford said.

With the Cavaliers winning, and if the Indians win, “it would be the rebirth of a city,” Schtz said.

“Cleveland always gets disrespected, and maybe we have earned it. But when the Indians win, it will solidify that we don’t give up,” Greg Schesler said.

Perhaps some of Lee Guy’s luck will rub off on the Indians.

Guy, 80, of Boardman, was six weeks shy of 12 when his aunt from Cleveland took him to a game during the 1948 World Series.

“I was on the Square with my aunt in front of Terminal Tower after the game. The city went absolutely crazy. It was almost as big a celebration as when WWII ended in 1945,” he said.

“The Tribe is definitely going to win,” Frankford said.