Jake Striker’s Cleveland Dream Came True!

Posted August 6th, 2010 by Tom Owens and filed in Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Jake Striker

Jake Striker was meant to pitch in the major leagues.

Either the majors, or starring in a Zane Grey western. Gotta love the name!

Striker the minor leaguer remembers the news of the promotion. The opportunity allowed him to chase just one modest dream. He wrote:

“I was playing in San Diego and was told by my manager that I was being called up to Cleveland when our season ended. I cannot say I was overly surprised, as I had a very good 1958 and a decent year in ’59. Still, it was a great feeling to be called up, hoping that I would have the opportunity to pitch in Cleveland Municipal Stadium.

That was my childhood dream, to pitch in Cleveland, as I only lived 90 miles southwest of Cleveland.”

It happened. At home, at THE PLACE, in front of family members who could share the dream: Striker’s first (and only) victory in the bigs.

These days, umpires call time and fetch the historic baseball from a player’s “first” anything. A coach can be seen in the dugout inscribing the ball with the feat. Instant souvenir! No such luck for Striker, who wrote:

“No, I did not get the game-winning ball. If I had gone the complete game, I am sure I would have had the ball. I do have a team-signed ball from the 1959 team.

I celebrated my win with my wife and parents and two brothers.”

Tomorrow: Baseball’s trading deadline just passed. Striker shares what it feels like to be shipped off as part of a blockbuster deal

(Every day, discovering baseball’s buried treasures, I’m astounded at http://www.retrosheet.org/. Thanks, guys!)

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