Cleveland Indians drummer sets standard for fans

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Cleveland Indians Drummer Guy

John Adams has been a staple in Cleveland for longer than any player on the Indians roster. In fact, he’s been a staple longer than Progressive Field has existed in Cleveland, even before it used to be called Jacob’s Field. For decades, Adams has pounded the same drum from the left field bleachers, game in and game out. He represents the most notable, passionate fan in Major League Baseball, and all other Cleveland fans should take a cue.

On April 27, in the Indians 7-2 win over the Royals, Adams attended his 3000th game as the Tribe drummer. To put that into perspective, if he was a player, Adams would place 9th all time in career games, behind such legends as Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, and Cal Ripken Jr. In fact, in 36 years, Adams has missed just 37 games.

The Indians do not take lightly the impact Adams has on the team. Bobble heads have been made in his honor; the team now pays for his two tickets, one for him, and one for his drum. On Saturday, he will lead a drum line on the field prior to the game. Anyone accompanying Adams with a drum of their own will receive free tickets to the game.

He’s been there through the ups and downs of the Indians, a Cleveland team at the core, doomed to fail in spectacular fashion. So why has he stuck around? In an interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Adams said: “I love the game of baseball and I love the city of Cleveland. There are no better baseball fans in the world. What makes a true fan is when you know they will not be good and you still show up and root them on.” Adams represents all that is right with the game of baseball.

In many ways, this year’s Indians team represents that of the classic move Major League. They’re young, for the most part, with several veterans. At the beginning, no one expected the young players to succeed this much. And no one expected veterans Hafner and Sizemore to come back in this impressive fashion. Few believed the Indians would compete, but they stand atop the American League, 3.5 games ahead of second place in the Central Division. Perhaps the only missing factor is a crazed boss attempting to relocate the team.

One unfortunate similarity between the movie and this year’s team is the empty stadium. Despite the Tribe’s triumphs thus far, attendance remains desperately low. In Major League, the stands were empty except for three super fans, constantly there, cheering on their team. Like those fans, Adams is constantly there, at the top of the left field bleachers, banging his drum.

And this message should be received from the rest of the city. Cleveland fans are legendary for their loyalty to their teams, through and through, no matter what. Despite the Cavaliers struggles this season, Quicken Loans arena had the third best attendance in the league. To show support for the team after “The Decision,” the fans were there, every game, no matter how disappointing the outcome.

This summer, Cleveland fans need to take a hint from themselves. Loyalty to a team cannot be replaced. And there are few things more beautiful than 43,441 (Progressive Field’s capacity) fans screaming for their team. Except, unlike the Cavs, this Indians group is not the bottom of the barrel, but rather the surprise of the league. They may succeed this year with or without capacity crowd’s, but consistent sell-outs would provide an added spark to a team poised for a playoff push.

If the team’s success continues, fans will come. Slowly but surely, Progressive Field will begin to fill with fans reluctantly beginning to believe that 2011 may in fact be a special season. Regardless of how long the fans remain doubtful, there is one thing that will remain certain. Every game, from far off in left field, the loyal fans at the game will hear the rhythmic boom of John Adams drum, a constant reminder of what it means to be a true fan.

 

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Comments

  1. drum so annoying, can’t be good for young kids at ball park or at home

  2. i did, cleveland indians

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