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Cleveland legend John Adams dies at 71

Morning news and notes for Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023

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Cleveland Indians vs Texas Rangers Set Number: X159637 TK1

If you’ve heard or watched a baseball game in Cleveland over the last half-century, you know of John Adams. There was no mistaking his drumbeat during crucial moments, which brought joy to Cleveland fans and comical anger from opposing fans wondering what that racket was while Jim Thome loomed at the plate. Since 1973, Adams sat with his $25 bass drum — it a bleacher seat now dedicated specifically to him — and provided Cleveland with a steady beat.

As I’m sure you’ve read elsewhere by now, that legend died yesterday at age 71 following years of declining health that prevented him from attending games in recent seasons.

The sound of his iconic drum was piped in during the pandemic season — because he didn’t want special treatment to come watch games by himself — and continued to be played while he battled off the field.

With his enshrinement into the team’s Distinguished Hall of Fame last season, he will forever be a part of Cleveland baseball history and a foundation for its future.

Cleveland Guardians news

Guardians remember drummer, lifelong fan Adams | MLB

“For nearly five decades, the beat of John’s drum was the heartbeat of baseball here in Cleveland,” said Guardians senior vice president of public affairs Bob DiBiasio. “We are all saddened by John’s passing. His dedication, commitment and passion for our franchise, at both Cleveland Stadium and Progressive Field, was unmatched. John will forever remain a member of our team.”

Legendary Cleveland baseball drummer John Adams passes away at 71 | WKYC

That, however, didn’t stop the Cleveland State University alum from maintaining his connection with the franchise, as he became the 12th member to be inducted into the Guardians’ Distinguished Hall of Fame last summer. Additionally, videos of Adams supporting the Guardians throughout the run to an American League Central Division title and the American League Division Championship Series from the O’Neill Healthcare Fairview Park proceeded to go viral and he was able to call “Play Ball!” via video ahead of the team’s Game 1 matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays in the wild-card round.

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Top 100 MLB prospects 2023: Keith Law’s rankings, with Corbin Carroll at No. 1 | Athletic ($$)
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