CLEVELAND, OH (TM216) — Twitter is trending, Cleveland is remembering, and we look back on the baseball half of one of the most talented young duos in northeast Ohio sports history.
From 2006-2009, some would say Grady Sizemore personified the hope of Cleveland sports futures. In just his third major league year, at just 23 years old, Grady was already earning the accolades and attention to finally bring baseball back to center stage in the home of rock and roll.
Let’s dive into it:
When Grady first stepped onto Jacob’s Field in 2004, the Rookie was barely old enough to drink. Twenty-one years old and stepping in front of a fanbase hungry to relive World Series energy from the previous decade.
Also noteworthy, this was the era in Cleveland that also housed basketball’s hottest young prospect. Lebron James playing inside Gund Arena, just feet away from the Jacob’s Field, brought a feeling of hope in the 216 sports that was perhaps unmatched by any sports era in history.
While that first season came and went with the Indians, yet again on the outside of the playoffs looking in, Grady became a bright spot in that team. Already boasting 24 RBIs in just 43 games, the rookie had proven his ability to compete at the major league level.
IRON MAN: Baseball is a long season. Perhaps no sport embodying the “dog days of summer” like America’s pastime. In 2006 and 2007, Grady played all 162 games of the MLB season. Not so coincidentally, those two seasons, both All-Star appearances and career highs for hits, doubles, and runs.
By 2007 and 2008, Grady was a Golden Glove winner.
In Cleveland’s sole playoff run of that era, the 2007 Indians were reaching levels that they hadn’t in several years.
Facing off against the Yankees in the ALDS, Grady handed Cleveland a lead off home run, showing his readiness to step up in the big moment:
The Tribe was one win from a run to the World Series, before falling to the Red Sox.
Giving up that 3-1 lead in the ALCS, perhaps prophetic. As we all know the Cavaliers would overcome that same deficit to capture their championship in 2016.
After the Indians declined Grady’s contract option and surgeries on his back and knee, the former All-Star sidelined for two years.
Making one last run Grady’s career ended playing for three teams in two years, ironically, joining the Red Sox in 2014, before finishing his career with the Phillies and finally Tampa Bay Rays.
What are you memories of Grady Sizemore? Give us a shout on any social media (@ThatsMy216) with a memory that stands out to you!
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