CLEVELAND (WJW)– Longtime Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis is thanking Cleveland fans for their support over the years.
The 32-year-old free agent signed a minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs, his favorite team while growing up in Illinois. He posted the thank you on his Instagram page on Wednesday.
“You helped shape me into the person I am today and I’m forever grateful. From the polite and respectful greetings you showed my family, friends and I everywhere we went,” Kipnis wrote. “You made me feel 10 feet tall! Many of you went from fans, to familiar faces, to even friends. Keep that Rally Together spirit going for this team.”
His season ended early last year with a fractured bone in his hand. Cleveland declined to pick up his option, making him a free agent.
During his time with the Indians, the club won three-straight American League Central titles. Kipnis wrote he’s sorry he couldn’t finish the job for fans during the 2016 World Series.
“I’ll always cherish my time in Cleveland and always tried to show you how much I loved wearing that jersey by the way I played for you!”
He signed the post “Dirtbag,” the nickname given to him by former Tribe manager Manny Acta. It’s also the name that appeared on his jersey during MLB Players’ Weekend.
Kipnis was part of the Indians organization for more than a decade and made his major league debut in 2011.