Originally created 07/22/98

Cleveland grounds crew goes swinging in the rain

CLEVELAND -- The sky above Jacobs Field looked so ominous that the grounds crew rolled out the tarp before the first drop of rain hit the infield.

That's when the adventures began Tuesday night during a rain delay in the second game of a day-night doubleheader between the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox.

Heavy wind gusts lifted several members of the crew off the ground as they tried desperately to drag the tarp onto the infield in the fourth inning with Boston leading 2-1. Since it wasn't raining yet, many fans stayed in their seats to root them on.

One crew member holding the tarp on the third base side was lifted off his feet and carried about 20 feet as the tarp took the shape of a hot air balloon.

After several minutes and two ovations, the tarp was secured just in time for the heavy rain. The scene was reminiscent of a game against Baltimore last September when the tarp got stuck during a heavy downpour.

The rain delay began at 8:07 p.m., more than seven hours after the first pitch in the first game, won by Boston 10-7.


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