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Cleveland Beats Boston!

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 27, 2005

Right now, on my TV set, Tony Pena is rounding the bases off a wet Jacobs Field, his arms raised high, and the Indians have beaten the Red Sox in the first game of their American League Division series.

Yes, I'm looking at a tape. From 1995.

On Oct. 3, we'll mark the 10th anniversary of the Indians' return to the post-season, the end of the not-since-1954 era and the beginning of a string of playoff appearances. I taped those games -- and the LCS, and the World Series -- because I was covering the games at the time. I filed the tapes because I thought there might be a reason for comparison down the road. Also because I have a hard time throwing things away.

Now I'm thinking about a column about how TV presented the Indians -- and postseason baseball -- on TV 10 years ago. (And it's official: I'm going to write something about TV Indians '95 for Sunday's paper.)

It's sure a different team; this was the era of  Vizquel and Thome, Lofton and Belle, Baerga and Alomar. But baseball changes, players move. In '95, Manny Ramirez was an Indian. Roger Clemens was in a Red Sox uniform.

You didn't have to watch much TV from the era to see a different game. The Indians' first playoff game was on NBC, called by Bob Costas and Bob Uecker. That team was back for the second game. The third went over to ABC under the convoluted network-baseball deal of the time, with Steve Zabriskie and Tommy Hutton in the booth. Compared to today, the graphics were spartan and simple. (No info-bar at the top of the screen.) And the game felt quieter than it did with Fox's approach, all crash and thunder. I'm now really jazzed about looking more closely at the tapes.

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