Tribe on Tour Comes to Strongsville, and So Do Hundreds of Fans
Cleveland Indians players, Manny Acta, Tom Hamilton draw a huge crowd to Westfield SouthPark
Cleveland Indians management didn't have to ask infielder Jason Donald twice if he wanted to take part in Tribe on Tour, a four-stop winter fan event.
"When I heard how great it was last year, I was hoping they'd ask me to do it this year," Donald said. "I kept this week open, just in case."
"It's great," he said. "I think the people of Cleveland and our fans are great people."
Likewise, said the fans, who turned out in droves to meet players and get authographs during Tribe on Tour Thursday night at Westfield SouthPark.
It was the first of four stops on the team's winter tour.
First in line for autographs were Dan Veloski, his son Nicholas, 9, and friend Andrew Schaeffer, also 9, all of Strongsville.
"We try to make it a point to meet the players before the season," Veloski said.
They've also made a hobby of collecting autographs and often donate duplicates to local school and church raffles.
Indians third baseman Jack Hannahan said he was "real happy to sign back here" and is "so excited to go into spring training."
He was also pleased to be asked to join the tour.
"It's good to be able to give back to the fans that support us all year," Hannahan said.
Other players at the mall Thursday were reliever Vinnie Pestano, second baseman Jason Kipnis, pitcher Josh Tomlin and outfielder Shelley Duncan. Manager Manny Acta was also there with announcer Tom Hamilton.
Also milling around the crowds were former players Joe Charboneau and Len Barker.