CLEVELAND (92.3 the Fan) – Cleveland Indians fans never miss the opportunity to reminisce about their teams from the mid-to-late 90s, and now they have another chance.
MLB Network will debut a documentary on the Indians teams that had more sustained success than perhaps any stretch of club history, called “The Dynasty That Almost Was.” The film will run Wednesday, July 12th at 8 PM.
A few hundred season ticket holders got the opportunity to see an advance screening of the documentary on Saturday, sitting in the club level to watch on the team’s state of the art video board.
Prior to the showing, those same patrons had the opportunity to participate in a Q&A roundtable with former Tribe Manager Mike Hargrove, as well as Indians greats, Carlos Baerga and Sandy Alomar Jr.
The group spoke about how the team came together, which is also covered in the film, though the three in attendance came together through special circumstance.
Alomar and Baerga were teammates while at Triple-A Las Vegas of the San Diego Padres organization, often times clashing with Hargrove while he managed the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, the Indians’ Triple-A affiliate from 1988-1992.
“We used to kick his butt every night,” Alomar laughed, garnering a retort from the man who would go on to manage the catcher.
“Funny how we remember that different,” Hargrove said.
When the Indians dealt Joe Carter to the Padres at the 1989 Winter Meetings, they receiver the pair along with outfielder Chris James in return. Though James was a major leaguer at the time, the pair of prospects were the centerpieces of the Indians’ package, largely in part to Hargrove’s input.
“I was just so emotional because I spent six years in the organization in San Diego, growing up and developing as a player,” Alomar said. “The fact that we had an opportunity there, you welcome that with open arms.
“It just happened that the first year went my way.”
Alomar went on to win the Rookie of the Year in 1990, and play in six All-Star Games for the Indians. Baerga saw three Summer Classics in his first stint for the Tribe, hitting over .300 four times in that stretch.
Baerga went on to laud the efforts of the man who traded for him, Indians general manager at the time, John Hart. The former second baseman may have had a little bit of incentive to heap more praise on Hart, as Baerga announced that the man who acquired him 28 years ago had signed his son, Carlos Baerga Jr., to the Atlanta Braves organization the night before.
A fan also asked the trio to reflect on the team’s 455 game sellout streak and how it impacted them.
“You have to bring the best of your game when you have a crowd like that,” Alomar said. “If you don’t have energy, you’ll find it. If you’re sore, you’ll feel better. The atmosphere there felt like a playoff atmosphere every night. Also, the opposite team felt that. So that push the fans gave us, it was tremendous. It helped us win a lot of games.”
The team came from behind 27 times in 1995, including a 13-0 record in extra innings.
“A lot of that had a lot to do that you all were in the stands right in the middle of it with us,” Hargrove said.