The Man who Turned the Indians Into a Winning Franchise

Nate PowersCorrespondent IJune 8, 2009

It has been a long time since I have contributed to this site; I've been busy with work and school.  But I have run across a headline that I knew I had to write about and share my thoughts.  The headline involved former Cleveland Indians owner and multi-millionaire, Dick Jacobs.

Dick Jacobs passed away on Friday, and I knew it would be inappropriate not to mention his legacy in the city of Cleveland.

Mr. Jacobs bought the Indians in 1986 when they were the laughing-stock of baseball, media, and movies.

Before the Indians, Jacobs was a businessman who built and renovated buildings; he loved to make things that could last and be seen and touched.

When he bought the Indians, he got rid of the veterans and invested in young, risky, and inexperienced players.

He built a system that involved creating and maturing talent in the minors—an approach paid out more then he could have ever hoped. It has triggered a new way that major league clubs function now a days.

Dick also put a pulse into the heart of downtown Cleveland by helping get Progressive Field (formerly Jacobs Field) and Quicken Loans Arena built.  He also helped get restaurants started near these facilities.

The Cleveland Indians were the team to beat in the 1990s, and every team in the majors wanted to be like them.  The Indians sold out every home game for 455 straight games, which used to be a major league record.

During his regime, his team also went to the playoffs every year from 1995-2001, including two World Series trips.

Let's just remember that Dick Jacobs got a major Cleveland sports team closer to a title in any year since the Browns won it all in 1964—they were three outs away from a victory in the 1997 World Series.

Without Dick Jacobs, who knows where the Cleveland Indians would be.  There might not even be an Indians team.


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