3 Wild Fun Facts About the Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavaliers started playing in 1970. That was a crazy year. That same year, the Jackson 5 made their debut on American Bandstand. I remember because I was a kid and I tried to spin like Michael, but I lost my balance and crashed into my dad’s liquor cabinet, breaking $30,000 worth of vodka and Jim Beam.

The Cavaliers finished their first season with a record of 15-67. John Johnson was named an All-Star that year. Did John’s parents have a hard time coming up with his name, John Johnson? But it has character. My parents should have called me Ditz Ditzel. But they saddled me with Joe, and now everybody asks me where I’m going with that gun in my hand. (For the kids, that’s a Jimi Hendrix reference.)

Johnson was drafted by both the Cavs of the NBA and the Dallas Chapparals of the now defunct ABA. The Chapparals later moved to San Antonio and switched to the NBA as the San Antonio Spurs. The Chapparals were lucky to get a few hundred people in the stands. At one game, there were more people selling hot dogs than there were fans.

“Beer here! Hot dogs! Red Hots! Cokes!….Anybody?…Aaannnnnyyyybody?…Beer! Hot dogs! Cokes!….Anyone?….I’m just going to sit down here and watch the game….Maybe I’ll have better luck in San Antonio.”

3 More Fun Facts About the Cleveland Indians

The Indians ball club first played in 1894 in Grand Rapids, Michigan as the Grand Rapids Rustlers. They moved to to Cleveland in 1900 and changed their name to the Cleveland Lake Shores. This name didn’t go over big with some local fans. One fan said, “Sure, Lake Shores. Why not? Very threatening. Ooh, I’m shaking in my boots. If we are going geographically-wise, why not call them the creek beds, or the river banks, yeah, the Cleveland Cuyahoga River River Banks. No? Of course not.”

Some newspapers called the Grand Rapids Rustlers the Rippers. One of their opponents was the Kansas City Blues, known by some papers as the Kansas City Cowboys. Did newspapers in the late 1800s and early 1900s make up names for teams willy nilly? A reporter from that era said, “Heck yeah, we tried to make up as crazy names as possible. Before they were called the Yankees, I always called them the Overpaids, and I called Boston the Beans, and referred to Philadelphia’s team as the Waiting Room before Retirements.”

The Indians were one of the first charter franchises of the American League in 1901. The other teams were the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Stockings, Detroit Tigers, Washington Senators, Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Athletics and the Boston Americans. A league official said they looked at and rejected a bid from Akron, Ohio. A league official told the newspapers, “We had to reject Akron because they wanted to put bowling lanes for the fans at each level of their stadium. They guaranteed a sellout every home game, but the noise of the balls and the pins would have been too distracting.”

3 Fun Facts About the Cleveland Indians

The Cleveland Indians were formed in 1901. That was an interesting year. That year Pope Leo XIII published an official church document called Graves De Communi Re which said golfers could no longer use the Lord’s name in vain…after missing a 2-foot putt.

The Indians took on that name in 1914. Just before that, they were called the Cleveland Naps, named after player Napoleon “Nap” Lajoie. They almost changed the Indians name back to Naps in the mid 1980s, because the whole team seemed to be asleep at the wheel.

Anncr: “It’s a long fly ball”

Outfielder: “Zzzzzzzzzz….”

Anncr: “It’s going, going…”

Outfielder: “Zzzzzzzzzz….”

Anncr: “Oh! Off the fence and bounces into center field.”

Outfielder: “Zzzzzzzzzz….”

The Indians conduct spring training in Goodyear, Arizona. Yes, it is a town named after a tire company. An Indians spokesperson explained: “Yes, we also looked at Perelli, Texas; Michelin, Florida; and Bridgestone, California. We went with Goodyear because they made us some special baseball caps made out of a small tire. Small snow tires. It’s an all weather baseball cap.”

7 Things You Can’t Do Anymore in Cleveland

Sure, you used to be able to do this stuff in Cleveland. But those days are over, cowboy. Deal with it.

Surfing Lake Erie

No more getting up at the crack of dawn to ride the 20 foot curls out on Lake Erie. Progress and pollution killed that buzz.

Hang Gliding From The Terminal Tower

Ask your parents. They did it all the time. The city stopped hang gliding from tall buildings in Cleveland around 1984.

Walking Through Drew Carey’s Childhood Home Uninvited

Lots of Clevelanders remember piling into the family station wagon and driving over to Drew Carey’s childhood home. No matter the time of day or night, you could walk through and imagine what it would be like to live there.

The Downtown Ferris Wheel

In 1989, the city dismantled the famous 2000-foot tall Cleveland Rocks Ferris Wheel. Three families were discovered living in several of the cars.

Pickled Ed’s Dart Bar

How many nights did you find yourself slinging darts at Pickled Ed’s at closing time? Forget it. Pickled Ed passed in 2005, and the family sold the bar the next year.

Cleveland Fly Swatter Museum

After church, you’d take a lazy Sunday drive to the Cleveland Fly Swatter Museum and look at all the great swatters from the 1890s through the 1930s.

Donnelly’s Disco and Scar Bar

Saturday nights in the 70s meant the whole gang would head to Donnelly’s Disco to line dance and compare scars. Those good times are over.

Woman Found In House Sobbing and Screaming “Winter Will Never End!”

2576211546_8ec033670c_o----1888 Keene Public Library - winter snow storm blizzard
Courtesy Keene Public Library via Flickr Commons

 

An Ohio woman in Cleveland’s “Snow Belt” east of town was arrested today after police found her shooting a gun out of a front window at nearby snowbanks, crying and screeching over and over, “Winter will never end! Winter will never end!” She was placed on a protective hold in a local mental facility until her trial comes up in June.

“Honestly, we could have scheduled the trial in March,” the judge said. “But we didn’t want to take the chance she would see snow and freak out.”

“Late February in Ohio has the highest incidence of winter-related breakdowns than any other time,” said the police chief. “We get more calls in those two weeks than the rest of the year. People start to snap due to the constant snowfall, frigid temperatures and endless days of grey, overcast skies. That and they live in Cleveland.”

Cleveland Man Won’t Shovel Sidewalks

House in Snow During Winter - Credit Keene Public Library
Credit: Keene Public Library

A man in Cleveland, Ohio won’t refuses to shovel the sidewalks in front of his house despite record snowfall during a bitter winter.

“I’m just renting here,” John Notgoingtoshovelson explained. “Why should I shovel the walks when the owner should do it.”

During our interview, passers-by could be seen slipping and falling as they tried to negotiate the treacherous sidewalk. One elderly lady tried to drag her shopping cart laden with groceries through the muck. It spilled when it turned over.

“I don’t care about those people,” he said. “They should contact the owner. If people want me to clean the snow off the sidewalks, they can pay me.”