July 14, 2015 – Fan Catches Four Foul Balls in One Game
Only 15,400 fans spun the turnstiles for this Sunday afternoon matchup with the Royals, despite the Indians being just one game back from the Central Division lead. That left plenty of room for Greg Van Niel to snag foul balls.
Van Niel caught four foul balls over the course the game–numbers 1, 2, and 4 on the fly, directly to his seat. He retrieved number 3 off the ground a few seats away.
“Three of them were catches and one was a ball I picked up off the ground,” said Van Niel. “The third one, I think was the hardest one … I ended up sprawled across a few rows, and I got some cheese on myself. But the other ones were just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.”
He kept three of the balls for the young family members who were at the game with him, and tossed the fourth to a child in his section.
Van Neil said that he had never caught a Major League foul ball before, despite being a season ticket holder just one section over from the lucky spot.
In on-the-field action, Jason Kipnis put the Indians up early with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first that scored Michael Bourn.
The Royals chased starter Ubaldo Jimenez from the game after scoring two runs in the top of the second and another two in the top of the fourth.
Down 4-3 with runners on second and third in the bottom of the sixth, Asdrubal Cabrera delivered a two run double into the right field gap. Jason Kipnis drive in Cabrera to add an insurance run later in the inning.
The bullpen combination of Bryan Shaw, Joe Smith, and Chris Perez held off the Royals through the final third of the game to seal the 6-4 victory.
Honorable Mention: July 25, 1928 – First Indians Radio Broadcast Airs
Owner Alva Bradley had agonized over the decision whether to allow radio broadcast of Indians games for years. Some owners thought that broadcasts boosted interest in their club, others maintained that free access to real-time baseball would depress attendance. By mid-summer of 1928 Bradley elected to let WTAM broadcast all games live from League Park except for Sunday.
Billy Evans and Tom Manning called the first game, a 10-2 win over the Red Sox featuring left fielder Charlie Jamieson going 3-5 with two RBI.