Curse of Rocky Colavito: A Loving Lookat a Thirty-Year Slump

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Simon & Schuster, May 17, 1995 - Biography & Autobiography - 304 pages
Anybody can have an off-decade. But three? It's enough to make you believe in the supernatural. The Cleveland Indians were surely tempting the fates when they traded away Rocky Colavito. He was young, strong, rugged, popular, and coming off back-to-back 40 home run/100 RBI seasons. He was the type of player you just don't trade, especially not for a three-years-older singles hitter, even if Harvey Kuenn had just won the American League batting title. Frank Lane's blunder could be expected to hurt the Tribe's pennant chances for a while. But for a generation? In the thirteen years before the trade, the Indians finished above .500 twelve times, and were first, second, or third in the league nine times. In the thirty-three years since the trade, they've finished above .500 six times, and were in the top three in their league just once (never finishing as high as third in their division). With the sharp-edged wit and keen eye for detail that have made him Cleveland's favorite sportswriter, Terry Pluto looks at the strange goings-on of the past thirty-plus years, unusual occurrences that could only be the result of some cosmic plan. Other teams lose players to injuries; the Indians lose them to alcoholism (Sam McDowell), a nervous breakdown (Tony Horton), and the pro golf tour (Ken Harrelson - okay, so it was only for a little while). Other teams bask in the glow when a young star plays in the All-Star Game in his first full season; the Indians saw catcher Ray Fosse's career derailed by a homeplate collision with Pete Rose in the 1970 midsummer classic. Other teams make deals to improve the ballclub; the Indians had to trade young Dennis Eckersley because his wife had fallen in love with hisbest friend and teammate, Rick Manning. Through long years of trials and tribulations that would have tested Job, the Indians' faithful have continued to come to huge, drafty Cleveland Stadium. Pluto understands the fierce attachment Tribe fans feel for their team, because he's

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THE CURSE OF ROCKY COLAVITO: A Loving Look at a Thirty-Year Slump

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The Cleveland Indians have been so bad for the past three decades that even hapless Chicago Cubs fans can take heart. ``At least,'' says Pluto (Loose Balls, 1990; Tall Tales, 1992), the Cubs ``have ... Read full review


Herb and Rocky
Trader to the Cause

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About the author (1995)

Terry Pluto is a columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal. He's the author of 22 books, has twice been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and has been named "Ohio Sportswriter of the Year" eight times. He has been called "perhaps the best American writer of sports books" by the Chicago Tribune. He lives in Akron, Ohio.

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