Whatever Happened to Super Joe?
Catching Up With 45 Good Old Guys from the Bad Old Days of the Cleveland Indians
- Softcover, 210 pages, 5.5 x 8.5 inches
- ISBN: 978-1-59851-027-0
From the mid-1950s through the mid-1990s, the Cleveland Indians fielded teams that just couldn't win. Yet each lousy team in those “bad old days” had its share of good guys, likeable and colorful young men who earned a spot in fans' hearts, if not the Hall of Fame.
Guys like “Super Joe” Charboneau, whose Rookie of the Year season inspired a nickname, a book, and a theme song, but whose career flamed out fast. Or Gomer Hodge, the former farm boy who went 4-for-4 in his first plate appearances with the Tribe and proudly announced that he had a 4.000 batting average. Veteran sportswriter Russell Schneider caught up with 45 former Indians players who played in Cleveland during the “bad old days” and found out what they think now about their playing days and their lives after baseball.
Good-fielding shortstop Duane Kuiper was satisfied hitting just one home run in eight seasons because, he said, “Any more than that and people start expecting them.” Former knuckleball pitcher Tom Candiotti never pitched a no-hitter but did throw a perfect game—as a pro bowler. “Immortal” Joe Azcue tried hard to live up to his early nickname but his batting average proved him merely human. And shortstop Frank Duffy considered the Indians of the mid-'70s “just like a happy family” compared to what he found when he was traded to the Boston Red Sox.
Sometimes nostalgic, sometimes tinged with disappointment, often humorous and insightful, their stories will take Tribe fans back to an age before multi-million dollar superstars, when the players were in it for the love of the game.
Illustrations: 45 black-and-white photographs
I'm just going to drop a few names: Gomer Hodge, Joe Charboneau, Wayne Garland, Joe Azcue, Fred Whitfield and Frank Duffy. If those names mean something to you, so will this book. Schneider covered many of these players when he was on the beat for the Plain Dealer. He knew them back in the day, and he brings up to date on what they are doing. It's an easy read, and should be irresistible to Tribe fans. Terry Pluto, Direct from Pluto
Russell Schneider wrote about baseball for Cleveland newspapers during many of these years, which gives him a unique vantage point from which to write about these sometime warriors. Without sentimentality, he plays the game of 'whatever happened to . . .' as well as anyone. This is a very readable book, whether a chapter at a time, or just to go straight through it, wallowing in our 'what might have been'. coolcleveland.com
These good old guys from the bad old days on the lakefront make for a nostalgic trip down a memory lane only Cleveland fans can appreciate. Currents
A breezy read, and when it's at its best is when the players are candid about their days at cavernous Cleveland Municipal Stadium. MLB.com
About Russell Schneider
Russell Schneider was a sportswriter and columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer for 32 years. He covered the Indians daily from 1964 through 1977. He has written one book on the Cleveland Browns and 12 books about baseball and the Indians, including The Cleveland Indians Encyclopedia, Lou Boudreau: Covering All the Bases, and The Glorious Indian Summer of 1995, and he is a lifelong fan of the team. He lives in Seven Hills, Ohio. More About Russell Schneider
Contains References to:
Brook Jacoby, Charlie Spikes, Chris Chambliss, Cleveland Indians, Cory Snyder, Dick Tidrow, Doc Edwards, Doug Jones, Duane Kuiper, Eddie Leon, Frank Duffy, Fred Whitfield, Gomer Hodge, James Mudcat Grant, Joe Azcue, Joe Charboneau, Larry Brown, Municipal Stadium, Ray Narleski, Rick Waits, Steve Mingori, Tom Candiotti,