It's no secret that I'm a Reds fan. Born and raised in Cincinnati, I've spent more than ten years here in the Cleveland area when I transferred here due to a job offer when I graduated college. Over the years I have grown to love Cleveland. It's a city that still has a grittiness that's reminiscent of it's industrial heyday. The city has been clawing it's way out into a post industrial world slowly, but with much success. It's been great to watch the revitalization of downtown Cleveland... my adopted hometown. One thing that has stood out to me since coming to Cleveland is the city's passion for it's sports teams. It doesn't matter where I'm at, there's always someone talking about the Indians, Browns, or Cavaliers. It's something I didn't witness much while I lived in Cincinnati where conversations involving the Reds or the Bengals were few and far between. Recently, I decided to make it a point to familiarize myself with as the history of the different franchises that comprise Cleveland sports.
A few weeks ago I began reading Our Tribe by Terry Pluto, a local Cleveland sportswriter who works for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. I wasn't expecting much when I began this book, just an intro into the follies that have haunted the Cleveland Indians since the 1950s. What I discovered, however, was a book that reaffirmed that baseball is not just a sport but an experience that's shared by generations, passed from father to son. As we grow up and grow apart from our Dad, when it seems as though we have nothing left in common, we can still talk about baseball. Pluto does an amazing job sharing the journey he had with his father growing up with Cleveland baseball. He takes the reader along as he details the joys and sufferings this town has witnessed with their ball club. But most importantly, Pluto allows us to see the final years he and his Dad share together in the mid 1990s as the Indians once again become a post season contender.