CLEVELAND, Ohio — Some believe Albert Belle, on the merits of his 50 home runs and 52 doubles, deserved the 1995 American League Most Valuable Player Award.
Instead, Mo Vaughn captured the hardware in the first of his three All-Star campaigns with the Boston Red Sox. Awards aside, Vaughn and Belle were two of the most feared sluggers in the AL in the ’90s, before injuries curtailed their careers.
Vaughn retired in 2003 and later founded a trucking company, Mo Vaughn Transport. The business is one of three companies to partner with the Indians this off-season in an effort to enhance the franchise’s youth service programs in the area.
Minute Men Staffing, a full-service staffing agency, and Victory Park Ohio, a sport and entertainment complex, have also joined the fold. The Indians first partnered with MCPc last year. The latter three companies have their logos displayed in the upper deck in right field at Progressive Field. Mo Vaughn’s Transport recently underwent a logo alteration. Eventually, its branding will also be advertised.
“These partners will play a pivotal role in helping us enrich the lives of children in greater Cleveland, while also helping us improve the quality of baseball and softball programs and infrastructure in the city,” said Rebecca Kodysh, the Indians’ executive director of community impact, in a statement.
As a result of the partnerships, the Indians have established two new initiatives, in addition to the organization’s effort to create youth baseball and softball opportunities throughout the city. The Tribe Scholars program will reward students for their academic success at inner-city and inner-ring suburban schools. The team will also hold Career Day at the ballpark, where Cleveland Baseball Federation and Cleveland Metropolitan School District baseball and softball players will tour the Indians’ executive offices and learn about different career paths within the game.
Corey Kluber and Francisco Lindor will also be involved in the organization’s enterprises. Through Kluber’s Kids, the team will host a Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital patient at each Wednesday home game. The child will watch batting practice, meet Kluber and receive club tickets, food and an autographed uniform.
Through The Lindor Smile Squad, the team will host an athlete from the Miracle League — an organization that provides those with special needs to play baseball on a specialized field — at every Monday home game. The selected athlete will watch batting practice, meet Lindor and receive club tickets and food.