1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

R.I.P. Richard "Dick" Jacobs

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Orange Hat Bobcat, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. Orange Hat Bobcat

    Orange Hat Bobcat Active Member

    I apologize if there is some thread on Richard Jacobs tucked away on some corner of the board ... or on some page of some other thread ... but if there is I certainly could not find it. Please allow a Clevelander to indulge for a few minutes ...

    After a quarter of a century of walking and talking and living, I have managed to figure out at least a couple of things. Not much, mind you -- like most folks on this board, save for, perhaps, a couple of dozen of well-seasoned veterans -- but a couple of things. One of those things is that there are different sorts of losses.

    There are losses that come and go, remembered for a couple of minutes, tossed aside as largely insignificant after that. You know the kind. Regular season. May. June. Like the Cleveland Indians on Thursday afternoon, trailing the Minnesota Twins 7-0 in the second inning on their way to a 10-3 loss. If not for pounding out this paragraph, I would have already forgotten the specifics.

    Then there are losses that mean a little more. Losses that knock the old team out of the postseason in September. August. Those sting for 20 minutes, an hour tops. You think about them over a beer, remember the season, move on.

    And there are, of course, the losses that we think are significant. To cross sports for a couple of seconds, consider the Cleveland Cavaliers playing what appeared to be uninspired basketball Saturday against the Orlando Magic. The Magic knocked them right out of the playoffs. That was a big one. Felt like it, at least. I was just numb for a minute or two, then walked to the train. That felt important. Sure.

    But there are losses that mean more. The ones that hurt the most, I have to imagine, are when a parent loses a child and when a child loses a parents. Brothers, sisters, grandparents ... But what about the old man you never met who meant more to where you live than just about anyone else? The aging gentleman with the white hair and the big glasses and the bigger wallet, the one with his name outside the stadium?

    Richard Jacobs died Friday. He saved baseball in Cleveland. He helped spur the city to build a new stadium for the Indians, a new arena for the Cavaliers. He was more important in the revitalization of Cleveland during the 1990s than anyone else. More than the mayors. More than the governors. I never met him, never talked with him, never shook his hand. But I knew who he was. My Dad knew who he was. Our neighbors did. All of Cleveland did.

    He was the reason we rooted for the Indians. He and his brother took a chance so many years ago and bought the team. Those Indians were terrible. He got in there and changed the culture of losing. He hired the right people and they hired the right people and those right people -- general managers and managers and players -- put lots of people in the seats and lots of money into what had been (and is, unfortunately, again) a struggling city. He helped give me a lot of the searing memories of my childhood. A lot of Friday nights and Saturday afternoons were spent with friends in the stadium with his name on it.

    He never brought Cleveland a championship, but he tried. There were, after all, more than a couple of Hall of Famers on those teams. Eddie Murray. Jim Thome. Manny Ramirez. Omar Vizquel and Jack Morris, if there is any justice. Jacobs did everything he could. The Braves got one. The Marlins got one. The Yankees got four. The Indians were right there, always right there -- always bridesmaids, though they looked damn good in their proverbial green dress.

    I never met Richard Jacobs, never talked with him, never shook his hand.

    But I miss him.
  2. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Bless you, OHB. I wish they had left it as Jacobs Field.
  3. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    I thought Jacobs had it written into the sale that the naming rights to Jacobs Field could not be sold until after his death. So why did it end up Progressive Field last year? I chalk it up to the Dolans being soul-less scumbags.

  4. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    OHB, that's a wonderful tribute. The Plain Dealer won't have a better one, guaranteed.
  5. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    OHB: Amen, brother, amen.

    RIP, Mr. Jaocbs, and thank you.

    BYH: Jacobs bought the naming rights for 12 years when the ballpark opened in 1994.
  6. I Digress

    I Digress Guest

    Down in the Keys, a woman on the Jacobs' family tree.. I think maybe a widow of Jacobs' brother, pretty much singlehandedly ensured that a public pool would be built. Nice lady. Big heart. Huge wallet.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page