I could help but finding myself reading this article where two writers gave their own top 10 moments in the era of Jacobs/Progressive field. I could not understand for the life of me when one of them had Tony Pena’s ALDS walk-off homer in 1995 as his number 1 moment. So I went back to the vault to try to remember my favorite moments. I would’ve really needed a top 10 list, but I decided to go with a top 5 to keep short and sweet. As Indians fans we’ve been treated to such indelible moments even without that elusive World Series victory. Maybe 2017 we will be talking differently. Anyways here is my top 5 Indians moments in Jacobs/Progressive Field era starting with number 5…..
- The Indians 3-homer barrage: Against the Red Sox 2016 ALDS Game 1.
It was my first ever Tribe playoff game. I was there in attendance with my girlfriend. It was almost like the scene in Rudy, where Rudy’s father walks into Notre Dame Stadium saying “This is the most beautiful sight these eyes have ever seen.” That’s kind of how I felt. Anyways to the moment. It was the third-inning the Tribe needed to get something. Roberto Perez started off the inning hitting a rocket to right field to get the tribe on the board, two batters later Jason Kipnis hit-a-know-doubt-about-it shot to right center, and happy boy Francisco Lindor capped off the wild inning with a homer to right to send the crowd into hysteria. I will never forget it. And to see it live is something I will remember for the rest of my life.
- The Comeback: Indians beat Mariners 15-14.
I remember this like it was yesterday. Living in Illinois I often did not get a chance to watch the Indians play that much. There was no such thing as MLB.TV back then. So anytime the Indians played on ESPN it was like Christmas. So as many of you know how this unfolded, the Mariners would build up an insane double digit lead, only for them to see it evaporate. Where this story get’s interesting is the fact I missed the entire comeback. During the 3rd inning I had shut the game off and went to bed. My dad woke me up at damn near midnight saying “Blake you have to come see this,” I replied with “what?” He said “you really need to see this.” So I hurled myself into the living room in-time to see Kenny Lofton sliding home for the game winning run. I was shaking my head. I deserved to have my Indians fan card pulled that night.
- The Clinch: Indians Clinch the AL Central Division Title in 1995.
I don’t remember this game that much. I was only in elementary school when it had happened. But I know how much this moment was felt by the entire fan base. My Uncle Dave told me that he cried the night the Indians clinched the division against the Baltimore Orioles. It was the Tribes first division crown in 41 years. 1995 was a year that nobody will never forget.
- Raji miracle two run blast: Davis’ two-run blast in Game 7 of World Series.
I don’t think we will ever see a game 7 of a World Series that produced as much drama as the one that unfolded last year between our beloved Tribe and the boys from Northside of Chicago. Trailing 6 to 4 the Tribe had Brandon Guyer on second following his RBI double to cut the deficit to 2. Coming to the plate was Raji Davis. On the mound was that flame-throwing Aroldis Chapman. Davis would channel his inner-Pedro Cerrano and saying “F*** You Jobu, I do it myself.” Davis would hit a missile just clearing the left field wall, striking the camera in the process, sending Progressive Field into a madhouse, and giving every Cubs fan a heart attack. The Erie warriors would fall short as the Cubs went on to win in extra-innings. Game 7 of the 2016 World Series would go down as one of the greatest games ever played.
- Sandy Alomar to the Rescue: Sandy Alomar’s homer off Rivera in 1997.
To me a lot of fans will say how can Sandy Alomar’s homer off “The Sandman” Mariano Rivera in game 4 of the 1997 ALDS topple Raji’s homer. Well for one, the Indians would go on to win the game and the series. The situation was kind of similar to the Raji Davis homer. It was bottom of the 8th. Tribe was trailing 2 to 1 to the defending World Series champs. The Yankees opted to bring Rivera early, just like the Cubs did with Chapman. Sandy Alomar was clutch all throughout 1997. Sandy Alomar’s homer sent the crowd into so much of a frenzy that even Kyle Schwarber lover Joe Buck even stated ” That was as loud as I have ever heard a ballpark.” That team was special and just as much as the 2016 was amazing the 1997 Indians were a mere two outs away from winning the title before a certain individual failed to do his job.