When Indians legend Bob Feller passed away in December, several of you responded or emailed me regarding my post about listening and chatting with Feller in the press box at Progressive Field. He was a regular there and seat 84, usually 5-6 to my right from my normal spot, was his and his alone.
The Baseball Writers Association of America (I am a member of the Cleveland chapter) and the Indians agreed Feller should be honored in the press box in perpetuity and his seat will remain vacant. The Tribe is there today having a workout on the day of Feller's public memorial in Cleveland and longtime great friend of the blog Dennis Manoloff of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has tweeted some photos of the display case created to honor Feller in the press box.
Judging from the pictures, I can't wait to see this in person. Terrific job all around in honoring the greatest Indian of them all. The No. 19 patch with the trademark high leg kick, by the way, will be worn on the Tribe uniforms this year.
It's a very down time for the Indians. They're not expected to do much in the standings and the ballpark is going to be empty a lot of nights. But as someone who has covered every postseason game in Jacobs/Progressive Field history and covered every day of the Tribe's 14-year affiliation with the Bisons, I can vouch for the classy way they conduct their business almost without fail (OK, they should have never allowed our market to endure TV blackouts but that's a notable exception).
The Indians' baseball department never wanted to leave Buffalo. That was strictly a business decision with the advent of a new ballpark in the Ohio state capital in Columbus and a totally understandable one (although I got a good snicker at yesterday's Tribe-Clippers exhibition game getting snowed out there).
A night at Progressive Field is always fun. And the press box crew there features some longtime colleagues whom I respect greatly. Kudos to everyone involved in the Feller tribute.