Fans touch base with Tribe

Jenna Staul

Former Cleveland Indians Rookie of the Year stops in Kent to sign autographs

Joe Charboneau, former Cleveland Indian’s 1980 Rookie of the Year, signs the shirt of Christine Rumbold of Kent yesterday evening in downtown Kent.

Daniel Owen | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: Ron Soltys

A crowd gathered on beach towels and lawn chairs yesterday in Kent’s Home Savings Plaza with former Cleveland Indians player Joe Charboneau to root for his former team as they took on the Detroit Tigers.

Charboneau, the 1980 Rookie of the Year, was on-hand to sign autographs and draw crowds to the community-sponsored event.

“I guess you’d say the Indians brought me here tonight,” Charboneau said. “You’ve got the big screen out here playing the game — it’s a way to support the Tribe, and it’s a nice community event.”

The event, which was free of charge, featured a large inflatable screen broadcasting the game. Last June, Home Savings Plaza was host to a similar downtown broadcast of a Cleveland Cavalier’s game.

The event was sponsored by Main Street Kent, a non-profit organization aimed at revitalizing downtown Kent, in an effort to draw patrons to local businesses, Executive Director Mary Gilbert said.

“We want to get people down here (downtown Kent) to hang out,” Gilbert said. “Hopefully if they get in the playoffs, we will do a playoff game here as well.”

Indians fan Fred Heberling, a sophomore marketing major, came to the event to enjoy both the game and a friendly rivalry with sophomore exploratory major Derek Suchy, a Detroit native.

“I’m here to root for Cleveland, and basically rub it in my friend’s face,” Heberling said.

Suchy, despite his affinity for the Detroit Tigers, left the event with an autograph from Charboneau.

“I think the Indians autograph is a good autograph,” Suchy said. “He was Rookie of the Year. That’s a big honor.”

Contact news correspondent Jenna Staul at [email protected].