1) The kid and I took the new car in to the Honda place to get a cargo cover. (Why things like cargo covers and floor mats don’t come with a new car is rather cheap on the manufacturer’s part. I mean, floor mats?) The lone woman in the service department noticed the “Indians” button on my coat.

“Tribe fan, huh?” she said.

“Yes,” I replied. “You too?”

“Love them.”

We started talking about last season and the prospects for this year. Then the conversation turned to favorite memories from past teams. I told her my Bob Feller story. We talked about Mike Hargrove (and his incredibly cool wife) and Fausto/Roberto and a bunch of other Indians-related stuff I can’t even remember now. It made the time spent waiting for the car fly by. I love meeting a kindred spirit in an unlikely place. Speaking of which:

2) I went to get new glasses. Because of insurance coverage, I had to go to a new place. I went into the eye doctor’s office. We made the usual small talk. As he was asking me questions about my eyes, I looked around the office and on his desk I noticed a small statue of a pitcher, leg kicked high in the air.

“Is that a Bob Feller statue?” I asked him.

He looked startled, as though he needed a second to fuse together the worlds of optometry and baseball. “Yes.” He looked skeptical as he asked if I was a baseball fan, but as soon I said I was, we started talking about the game. He’d been a fan for years. Among other players, we talked about Joe Charboneau, and how he saw similarities between Super Joe’s quick ascent and descent and Peyton Hillis of the Browns. He was done checking my eyes and writing a new glasses prescription well before we were done talking.

3) Stephanie and I went to see Hugo last weekend (yes, a little late to the party on that one, but what a delight to see Martin Scorcese make such a gentle film). As I handed my ticket to the ticket taker, she hurriedly put down her phone. Because I am apparently turning into my mother, I gently chided her for texting at work.

“I’m not texting,” she said cheerfully. “Just checking the score of the Cavs game.”

“Nope, can’t do that,” I said. “Now if you were checking the score of the Indians game, it’d be okay.”

“I love the Indians!” She looked at the button on my coat and said, “Real fans have Chief Wahoo tattooed on their stomach. I’d show you but I don’t think it’d be a good idea to take my shirt off at work.”

We agreed that undressing at work is generally frowned upon, but chatted baseball for a couple minutes nonetheless.

4) I started writing this in a rare moment of quiet when I had the house to myself. I was listening to the Indians-Reds Spring Training game on the computer and just enjoying the day. Spring Training games are intimate enough that you can hear the sounds of the game in a way that you can’t during the regular season. The sound of horsehide meeting wood at 93 mph is its own music. Right now, I don’t mind too much that the Indians have lost their first few Spring Training games. It’s baseball. Winter is over, and the fans are coming out of hibernation.

9 Comments

  • Will McIlroy says:

    More than a few refugees from the North Coast live in my area and I get frequent comments about my Indians apparel. The manager of a local restaurant often wears a Red Sox hat (it’s a high brow place) and we stare coldly at each other as we pass. That 3 games to 1 trap door from 2007 still hurts and he knows it.

    As for the slow Spring start, save the bullets for when it matters. Right now it’s just about getting the work in although human nature requires we speculate and prognosticate. Chisenhall made two strong plays in the field yesterday and Kipnis still looks feisty after last season. Lowe also had his sinker working, looked sharp and could be a stabilizing find. I think Acta likes what he sees so far from Canzler (sorry, Matt).

  • Susan Petrone says:

    Will, good on you for maintaining your Indians love in far-flung places. Don’t forget to say: “Yankees suck,” next time you and the Red Sox-loving restaurant manager pass. Perhaps it’ll create some sort of detente.

  • Steve Turkish says:

    Susan..I’m a 57 year old lifelong fan. My dad once told me that I had a toy chief in my crib!! Watch every game for years on cable and known by many as the #1 Tribe fan in NY. Before cable TV, I listened to games on WWWE when the signal was strong enough to NY at night (usually on clear nights after 9pm). Just wanna let you know that I enjoy your articles every day, and real Tribe fans are all over the country!! I always wanted the Chief tattoo…but my wife would kill me!!

    Keep writing!!

    Steve

  • Susan Petrone says:

    Steve, thanks for your note. Glad you enjoy the blog. Maybe you and the wife could get matching tattoos? No?

  • joeybiz says:

    i have enjoyed listening to spring training baseball since i was a kid.i remember taking my walkman to school.(BY THE WAY,IM NOT THAT OLD,THEY HAD WALKMANS IN THE 90′S LOL)i would have one earpiece in listening to the game,and the other one tucked into my shirt,so the teachers never knew.those were fun times.

  • Susan Petrone says:

    Joeybiz, I had a Walkman in high school. In the 80′s. Um, wait, how old is that old?

  • joeybiz says:

    um,i would say that anyone that went to high shool in the 80′s,or early 90′ are still very young.

  • Susan Petrone says:

    Oh, bless your heart, Joey. I figure if I live to be as old as my grandmother did, I’m not even middle aged yet.

  • Swift says:

    “Winter is over, and the fans are coming out of hibernation”

    Its funny, even though I’m jonesing for baseball, I find spring training is the time not only for the players to bet in shape for the regular season, but me too. I read the paper, the blogs, catch up on what’s going on, so my brain and my heart are ready for opening day.