There are many books, I’m sure, on your must-read list. Sheldon Ocker’s is not among them, because it doesn’t exist. I’ve said to him, “Sheldon, you’re witty and experienced. And readers would be interested in such a book.”
His answer through the years has always been the same: “No.” This is in stark contrast to people on the street who say, “Nice to meet you,” and then, “You know, Lary, one day I’m going to write a book about my fascinating life.”
And so we are collectively deprived of Sheldon Ocker’s experience of covering the Cleveland Indians for the Akron Beacon Journal since the 1970s. Every February he has traveled to spring training to collect quotes about the sunny season ahead. Every October he has offered his lamentations, and counted the years since 1948, the last time the Indians were at the top of the baseball world.
Even so, he manages to entertain daily, walking the line between fandom and appropriate derision, referring to team members as “lodge brothers” and to the management as “the Tribe’s deep thinkers.”
Read him on ohio.com as the season wanes, and, if your are so inclined, send me your encouragements. I will pass them along. Though I should say, after a lifetime of rooting for Cleveland Indians, I have no expectation of winning.