Ben Tate has been in Cleveland for just a few months. But he already understands the city more than most athletes ever will.
Ben Tate cares.
Thirty minutes before throwing out the first pitch at Progressive Field, Tate insisted on throwing some warm-up pitches, and adjusting his windup. He didn’t want to just nonchalantly walk up to the mound and wing it.
Tate delivered a fastball right to the glove of Indians outfielder David Murphy. The crowd leapt to their feet, and began barking like dogs, signaling their loyalty to the Cleveland Browns.
“These fans care about all their sports no matter the record of their team,” said Tate. “That speaks loudly to me.”
But Tate’s first pitch won’t be what the night is remembered for. It’s not the 44 tickets he bought for fans in section 184, either.
Tate didn’t just buy these fans tickets; he went to the section for a solid 20 minutes and interacted with the Cleveland faithful. Here’s a glimpse of what it was like.