INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Sunny, 70 degrees, April, but no live baseball. A sad story for the fans of our National Pastime.
But an understandable story, for sure.
“Kinda put that mindset on the back burner,” says former Indianapolis Indians pitcher Chad Kuhl. “Think about humanity as number one right now.”
Since Victory Field can’t be filled to capacity for the Tribe’s scheduled Opening Day on Thursday, the franchise will instead host on its social media channels a replay of Game 4 of the 2015 Governor’s Cup, when the Indians hosted the Clippers downtown.
“This game they’re gonna do is one of the most exciting games I’ve ever been a part of,” remembers former Tribe manager Dean Treanor, who has spent more than three decades in professional baseball.
Indianapolis faced elimination at home in that Game 4 of the International League Championship Series, and taking the mound was a fresh call up from Double-A Altoona: Chad Kuhl, who’s now a starter in the Pirates’ rotation.
“It wasn’t my season that was on the line,” Kuhl points out, “so that was the scary thing. I was coming into a brand new clubhouse, and these guys’ seasons were kind of riding on my shoulders.”
Kuhl delivered a strong seven inning start, but the ninth inning was the one to remember that night. I won’t spoil the details now, before the stream.
“It’s a baseball cliche and a sports cliche,” adds Treanor, “but when you talk about family, we really were a family. The guys got along so well.”
“That 2016 team we had was pretty much the Pirates right now,” quips Kuhl. “Even then, that was a big transition period because our ’15 and ’16 teams were so good.”