[dropcap]C[/dropcap]LEVELAND – On a promotional night for fireworks and dollar dogs, leave it to the spunky Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis to be the match that has revived the late-inning magic that was once common on the corner of East 9th and Carnegie.
Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 10th inning, Kipnis would hit a line-drive home run into the right-field stands, captivating a 6-3 win and helping the 23-17 Indians maintain their share of first place in the AL Central alongside the defending AL champion Detroit Tigers.
What Kipnis’ fateful walk-off did more than notch another W in the left side of the ledger, but also brought flooding back to the present, a lot of great memories of the Tribe teams of yesteryear, that seemed to have a knack of late-inning heroics.
Back in the day, names such as Sandy Alomar Jr, Albert Belle, Jim Thome, Kenny Lofton, Carlos Baerga, Eddie Murray, Paul Sorrento, would find ways for the AL pennant contending Indians to win games, this writer’s favorite memory was Belle’s grand slam off of California Angels reliever Lee Smith in the bottom of the ninth.
There are many more great memories to name that would take up the rest of this blog, the point is, this Indians team is evoking those same memories of hitting in the clutch, timely defense, and scoring with two outs, the same way those teams from the 90’s did.
Gone are the Mikhail Baryshnikov-like double-play combos of Roberto Alomar and Omar Vizquel, the Lofton highlight reel catches in center field and the tape measure worthy homers of Manny Ramirez, and in their place are the timely hits of Nick Swisher, dazzling plays at shortstop by Asdrubal Cabrera and the mammoth home runs of Mark Reynolds.
With the way these Indians are playing, and the return of large crowds at the Jake—and never The Prog, or Progrssive Field—Tribe fans can look forward to a blast for the past and party like it’s the 90’s all over again.
Robert D. Cobb is the Founder/CEO/Senior Editor-In-Chief Of The Inscriber : Digital Magazine, for questions, comments and concerns email me at [email protected] follow me on Twitter @RC_TheInscriber and follow The Inscriber : Digital Magazine on Twitter at @TheInscriber