Fan Follow Friday puts the spotlight weekly on one of my readers, as they share their favorite ballparks and baseball memories. Hope you enjoy hearing their stories!! This week we hear from the most loyal Cleveland Indians fan I’ve ever met, and arguably the “real” third Barnhart sister, Kim Roberts:
Name: Kim Roberts
Hometown: Brecksville, Ohio
Favorite Team: THE Cleveland Indians
Blog/Website: N/A because I’m clearly not cool enough, but people can check out my Pinterest. 🙂
How did you get into baseball? Growing up my family had season tickets to the Indians games. This was back in the glory days (90’s) and were about 8 rows up from 3rd base. We would go downtown to the Jake multiple times a week, getting as many autographs as we could and eating just as many hot dogs. Jim Thome was my first love (as he was playing 3rd base at this time) and I attribute that love to my affinity for baseball (and baseball players).
Favorite Ballpark? Jacobs Field of course (or Progressive Field for you non-Cleveland natives)
Least Favorite Ballpark? Kansas City… it’s in a parking lot and the atmosphere just wasn’t as fun as other parks I’ve been to.
Top Ballpark Memory? Grady Sizemore Bobblehead night in 2007 (Tampa Bay @ Cleveland). It was also college night, and I went with some friends and sat in the bleachers in the outfield. The crowd was drunk and rowdy, so obviously it was a great time. The Indians were up by a few runs, and in the top of the 9th, Tampa Bay hit a solo home run to the bleachers… straight shot to our seats. As this was the first home run ball I had ever caught, I was pretty excited. However, the (drunken) crowd started to chant “throw it back! throw it back! throw it back!”. Now, Progressive Field rules are that you cannot throw anything onto the field during the game, including balls, so I was morally unsure of what to do. I looked around and noticed that a cop standing near my row. He was laughing and then nodded his head towards the field, so naturally, I said, what the heck, and threw it back onto the field.. thunderous applause from the crowd. Just when I thought I was in the clear, about four policemen came up my row from the opposite side of the lovely cop that motioned for me to throw it, and told me that I was being escorted out of the game. As I left (and my friends scrambled to collect our belongings and Grady bobbleheads), my fans in the crowd began to chant “let her go! let her go!”. I smiled all the way down to the corner of Carnegie and Ontario.
Advice for fans visiting your home ballpark? 1) You will get kicked out if you throw a ball back onto the field (not saying you shouldn’t, but just FYI) 2) Buy the cheap seats then sneak into the good ones. 3) Autographs for the home team are next to the home dugout along the third base line — prime time to get pictures with the cute players (or at least that’s what Alicia and I did..) 4) Enjoy it! There are no better fans than Cleveland fans (in my opinion), so take in the atmosphere and excitement of the game!