The Cleveland Indians have a deeper connection to the University of Arizona than one might initially believe. Superstar Kenny Lofton, manager Terry Francona, third base coach Brad Mills, intimidator Shelley Duncan, and former star prospect Trevor Crowe are among the men to have worn the red, white, and blue for both ballclubs. The Wilcats home at Hi Corbett Field also served as the Tribe’s Spring Training headquarters from 1947 to 1993 and served as the backdrop for the Spring Training scenes in the movie Major League.
The Wildcats looked to deepen the ties with the Indians. Or, perhaps they were attempting to add some levity to the opening of their season in a day and age where college teams also lip sing to songs such as Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe to post online. Either way, Arizona’s baseball team spent the time to recreate some of the magical scenes from the movie Major League and hilarity ensued.
The entrance to Spring Training sequence hits on all of the notes one would hope – including the palest version of Pedro Cerrano ever attempted in American cinema and a vehicle similar to Francona’s infamous red scooter making an appearance. However, it is the Willie Mays Hays pajama scene that steals the show in the three plus minute clip.
Outside the fun video, Francona has held a continued relationship with his alma mater. In January, he pledged a one million dollar donation to the baseball team to create the Terry Francona Hitting Facility among other improvements to Hi Corbett Field.
Hopefully, the good vibes continue between the college and professional teams as the Arizona Wildcats continue to have a top-flight program as they continue to recruit Top 10 classes. Having some inside knowledge about the best prospects at the University of Arizona could only help the Tribe when it comes to the MLB Amatuer Draft. Perhaps the next Francona or Lofton is waiting to make that same transition.