Cleveland – With the sun hovering over Progressive Field Saturday it almost felt warn enough to be baseball season. There are still 76 days until the Cleveland Indians’ home opener, but across town at the convention center fans were rallying together at the 6th annual Tribe Fest.
“It’s fantastic, a once in a lifetime. First time we’ve been here,” said Al Zullo, a life-long fan from Brook Park.
“I saw so many players it’s been awesome. I’ve never been so close to the players,” said AJ Ruggles from Grafton.
Long lines were no deterrent for fans who happily waited to get autographs and shake the hands of their favorite players.
“It’s cool meeting all the pitchers and players especially Jason Kipnis who’s my favorite. I have his jersey on,” said Haley Protira from West Farmington.
Players signed all kinds of Indians paraphernalia including baseballs and bats, bases and gloves. AJ Ruggles even had the players sign his iPhone.
“I forgot to bring something for them to sign so I was thinking well I’m on my phone all the time so it would be sweet to have them sign my phone,” Ruggles said.
Fans also got to hear from the always-smiling Francisco Lindor on his feelings about the 22nd game of the team’s streak.
“It’s just fun, you know, you play the game for moments like that, for the experience for the joy of winning and it’s just fun seeing how all the fans were involved,” Lindor said.
Meanwhile, Manager, Terry Francona says he is anxious to get his team together in Arizona, “Now it’s our responsibility, go to spring training, get ready to play, and be ready to play at a high level from the first game and let’s see how good we can get,” said Francona.
Pitchers and catchers report for spring training on February 14th.