"Almost Opening Day" #4 Favorite Memory When the Indians Have Clinched a Division or World Series Birth
1995. Never thought I'd see it. The first time is the best time.
Just sitting at home — alone, I’m surrounded by friggin’ Cubs’ fans — watching all by my lonesome.
Maybe not the moment of, but the day that the Indians were set to celebrate their 2017 AL Central title, I pulled into the parking garage at the same moment as TJ.
I was a rookie on the beat, and TJ immediately asked me if I had brought a change of clothes for after the celebration. Of course, I did not. Luckily, I did not get pulled over on the way home, completely soaked in champagne.
This one is easily the Indians clinching the 2016 ALCS vs. Toronto. The Indians and Blue Jays had some exciting and tension-filled games that year (see the next answer), and it was so great beating Toronto for the pennant.
I was working for the Indians in Spring Training for 10 years. Employees took over a bar in Goodyear and partied like crazy watching the Tribe clinch the ALCS.
When the Tribe beat the Mariners in game six in 1995 to make it to the World Series for the first time in forever, I recall being at my cousins apartment in North Olmsted and driving home and just hearing people beep their horns and scream outside their cars as if they had just won the title. Folks were then lining up at places to quickly scoop up shirts and hats as soon as they released them - it was awesome.
The night the Indians beat the Red Sox to advance to the ALCS in 2016 I was on a date. We were waiting in line at the Mansfield Prison to enter a haunted house attraction. Instead of chatting with the girl during this time, I was watching the live pitch feed on my phone. Needless to say, it didn’t work out with her, but I was very pleased about the game!
I distinctly remember embracing the fact the Indians were heading to the 2016 World Series well before Game 5 in Toronto ended. Ryan Merritt on the mound, decidedly not shaking in his boots. His quieting the Blue Jays in 4.1 innings of two-hit ball gave me a sense of certainty Clevelanders don’t often feel with sports (at least not optimistically).
I was at the division clincher in 1996 in Chicago. Being a sixth grader was the only thing that stopped me from getting pummeled by the White Sox fans who were annoyed by my cheers.
As for 2016, I was covering the series in Toronto when Carlos Santana caught the foul ball that sent the Indians to the World Series. Shocked, I turned to Zack Meisel, then of Cleveland.com, and said, "These [expletive] are going to win it all, aren't they?" Close, but no.