CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The last time the Major League All-Star Game was held in Cleveland, 22 years ago, Sandy Alomar Jr. was the hero, named the game’s MVP after belting a game-changing two-run homer in the 7th inning. So it was only fitting that the former Indians catcher was named as an ambassador for the game, along with his former teammate and recent Hall of Fame inductee Jim Thome, and 3-time Indians All-Star Francisco Lindor.
The announcement was made Tuesday afternoon at Progressive Field as the trio joined area children in a game of wiffle ball at the ballpark.
“It’s an honor to be part of the ambassadors”, Alomar told reporters. “It was a lot of fun here in ’97, it was well organized and I look forward to it being the same...hopefully we can get the same result we had the last time, with one of our guys.”
Thome, a 5-time All-Star himself (3 with the Tribe), remains close to the fans of Cleveland.
“Cleveland’s a great sports town, and it’s going to show it that week”, Thome said.
I asked him if he’d ever had the chance to play on a major league field as a 12-year old, like the kids surrounding him on this day.
As for Lindor, he’s been to three All-Star games himself, and even if he isn’t added to this year’s team, after starting the season on the Injured List, he’ll be busy hosting events and promoting the game along with his fellow ambassadors.
“Every time you go to different cities and you see the All-Star event and you hear the hometown fans scream for their hometown guys, it’s special, it’s unique", Lindor said.
As Northeast Ohio fans will experience firsthand once again in July.