Thursday, December 14th, 2017

No Banner to display

Sandy Alomar, Jr. stays fit by cycling today … 20 years after ‘Miracle on 9th St.’

Sandy Alomar

Sandy Alomar

By SARAH JAQUAY

During the Indians’ glory years in the mid-1990s, there were some players who came back every year looking just as they had the prior season—guys like Kenny Lofton, Omar Vizquel and Sandy Alomar, Jr.—the team’s lean catcher who’s still lean 20 years after the Indians’ miraculous 1995 season.

First a few reflections on that golden summer: The team got to first place and remained there almost from pillar to post; they won 100 games in a strike-shortened season. Many times the team came from behind in the late innings to win with homeruns or grand slams. Northeast Ohioans thought they were hallucinating. The town was electrified with an energy whose vortex was at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario. As the team advanced to face Atlanta’s juggernaut starting pitchers in the World Series, history buffs cringed at the thought of a repeat sweep as the Yankees had done. No sweep: The Indians went down 4 games to 2, but fans born after 1954 finally had something to tell their grandkids about. Thousands of the faithful at the post-Series rally on Public Square couldn’t be convinced they’d lost anything because we’d gained self-respect.

Two decades have passed but some of the players from that thrilling era remain and still look as if they could slide into home plate without perspiring. Sandy Alomar, Jr.–now a bench coach for the Indians–is one of those guys. With the February issue of Currents annually devoted to health, fitness and wellness, Currents was honored to have the opportunity to visit with Alomar to ask how he keeps fit and how he gets his game on for Spring Training.

Three years ago Scott Radinsky, former Indians pitching coach, rode his bike to Alomar’s house. Radinsky asked Alomar to go for a ride and Alomar replied, “What, am I going to ride on your lap?” So they went and bought a bike. Alomar started riding regularly and enjoying it—not just for the exercise but for the peace of mind long-distance cycling provides.

Alomar’s had numerous knee surgeries and needed a workout routine that wouldn’t add the force of gravity to his joints; so biking was ideal. Today he’s an avid cyclist who clocks 100-200 miles per week depending on the weather. He doesn’t pack his S-Works bicycle when the team travels “because there’s no room on charters.” But he rents when he can in places like San Francisco and Seattle. When asked about biking on more vertical landscapes, Alomar explains he used to avoid hills but now looks forward to the challenge—even when he’s biking in his native Puerto Rico, which has “lots of hills and traffic.”

When waxing about 20 years ago, this veteran catcher wants to set the timeline straight: “It really started in 1994 … We felt it at Spring Training — ‘Man, we can compete with anyone.’” But the fates didn’t smile on baseball that year and there was no post-season due to a bitter strike.

“We came back [in 1995] with a vengeance,” Alomar remembers. He also talked about the entertaining clubhouse atmosphere. The team itself took on a personality that was about being silly and pranking. “Alvaro Espinoza [the shortstop who stuck inflated bubblegum on his teammates’ caps when cameras were zooming in on the dugout] and Wayne Kirby: You had to watch those guys,” Alomar recalls with a smile.

Anniversaries are fun but Alomar is focused on this season and says he doesn’t really have to shift gears for Spring Training. “You never really disconnect from baseball. You’re thinking about it every day one way or another.” He’s looking forward to the task at hand (which he describes as winning the Series) and knows “Everything starts here [Spring Training.] This is my sixth year coaching and I can see the steady progress.”

Here’s hoping for an even a bigger miracle in 2015.

See indians.com for Spring Training and ticket information.

 

QR Code – Take this post Mobile!
Use this unique QR (Quick Response) code with your smart device. The code will save the url of this webpage to the device for mobile sharing and storage.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment

left
Pause
Right
 
currentsnews.com Webutation
 
Currents News
Other Publications
Currents News
P.O. Box 150 525 E. Washington St.
Chagrin Falls, OH 44022
Phone: (440) 247-5335
Copyright © 2017 Currents News