We take our sports very seriously here in Cleveland. Rain or shine—blizzard or 70-year championship drought, we support our teams. The Cleveland Indians have not won a World Series since 1948. The last time they even played in the World Series was 1997. My kids were little at the time—three and just barely six. They’re now 22 and 25, and we’ve endured losing season after losing season together as a family. Through it all, announcer Tom Hamilton has been the voice of the Cleveland Indians with, arguably, the best home run call in baseball. “Swing and a high drive. Deep left. A waaaaaay back! GONE! Halfway up the bleachers in left!” Indians fans know, when they hear a certain tone in Hamilton’s voice to stop what they’re doing and listen because something big is happening.
During Game 5 of the American League Champion Series in Toronto on Wednesday, a 4th grade football team in the Cleveland suburb of Westlake, Ohio, had a scrimmage scheduled during the big game. But they stopped the game so they could huddle around the radio and listen to Tom Hamilton calling the final out of the game. The boys (both teams from the looks of it), gathered around a large speaker that had been set up on the field, jumping up and down and chanting “One more strike! One more strike! One more strike!” as they anxiously waited for the final moment of the game to come.
Suddenly, they all grew silent as Hamilton described Indians pitcher Cody Allen winding up for the next pitch with a man on first.
“Cody Allen’s ready. Again, a look at second. Now the 2-2. A swing and a pop up!”
Watch what happened next:
This moment is simply amazing… 4th grade boys anxiously listen for the Cleveland Indians winning moment yesterday at a football scrimmage in Westlake: http://on.wkyc.com/2emIabu.
Posted by WKYC Channel 3 – Cleveland on Thursday, October 20, 2016
Those little boys weren’t even born when Indians closer Jose Mesa blew a save in the bottom of the 9th with the Indians only four strikes away from winning the World Series in 1997, breaking the heart of a city. Instead of tremendous disappointment, they’ve experienced the joy of the Cavaliers bringing home the first NBA championship in the city’s history this year. Can lightning strike twice in Cleveland? These enthusiastic 4th graders may just will it to happen.
After WKYC shared the video on their Facebook page, other parents shared videos of their kids’ teams experiencing the same amazing moment. Someone posted a video of the N. Ridgeville Junior Rangers 3rd and 4th grade football team gathered around a radio on the field. I wasn’t able to embed it here, but you can see it if you click through from WKYC post above.
You can see the St. Francis Cougars from Gates Mills enjoying this extra special moment on the next page:
The St. Francis Cougars from Gates Mills were suited up for a game, but they took the time to gather around someone’s car so they could hear the end of the Indians game on the radio:
Our fourth grade football team was pretty excited when they heard the Indians win last night!! #windians #tribe #indians #clevelandindians
Posted by St. Francis of Assisi School-Gates Mills, Ohio on Thursday, October 20, 2016
The fourth graders, all decked out in red, went wild and ran out onto the field like a bunch of little wild men.