The Most Bizarre Moments In Cleveland Sports History

Cleveland sports has great tradition and an incredibly loyal, proud fan base. They also know their teams have had some extremely bizarre moments over time. Here are the top 20. (Credit: The members of RCF)

21. Former Indians’ Cy Youngs Face Off In the World Series

It was difficult enough for Indians fans to stomach losing C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee in consecutive seasons. The two squaring off for different teams in Game 1 of the 2009 World Series was just salt in the wound.

20. Donyell Marshall’s Wardrobe Malfunction

During a 2008 game against Seattle, Donyell Marshall took off his shooting shirt and went to check into the game. The only problem was Marshall didn’t have a jersey.

Marshall explained: “My game jersey came off when I took off my warmup top. What’s funny is I didn’t even think about it until I heard the P.A. announcer call the delay of game. I wear an tank top underneath my jersey because the material irritates my skin, and I knew something felt strange when I took the floor.”

19. Ted Stephien Fires Three Head Coaches In One Season

Donald Trump has nothing on Ted Stephien. Over the course of the 1981–82 season, Stepien fired three head coaches and hired four: Don Delaney, who had taken over for Bill Musselman with 11 games remaining in the 1980–81 season; assistant coach Bob Kloppenburg, who filled in for a game after Stepien relieved Delaney of his duties; Chuck Daly, who left the Philadelphia 76ers where he had been an assistant to take over as head coach of the Cavs, who went 9–32 with him at the helm; and Bill Musselman, who returned to the bench after serving as the team’s director of player personnel since being fired the previous season.

18. Do Not Egg Albert Belle’s House

Indians slugger Albert Belle was sued for more than $850,000 by the guardian of a teenager accused of egging the outfielder’s home on Halloween.

The 16-year-old boy contended Belle gave chase in a Ford Explorer and bumped into him after Belle’s home was hit with eggs by trick-or-treaters. Belle was charged with reckless operation for chasing after the boys and was fined $100.

17. Just Manny Being Manny

Driving home from an Indians game one night, Manny Ramirez was pulled over by police and cited for driving without a license, without proper plates, with illegally tinted windows and with the stereo turned up too loud. The officer also discovered Ramirez had two Florida driver’s licenses and two Social Security numbers. Then, after releasing him, the officer stopped and ticketed him again for immediately making an illegal U-turn.

16. Chuck Finley’s Wife Beats Him, Finley Misses Start

Back in 2002 Tawny Kitaen, wife of Indians pitcher Chuck Finley, was charged with spousal abuse and battery for allegedly attacking her husband He was driving when the couple began arguing, and Kitaen kicked him with her high-heeled shoes. She reportedly kicked him in the thigh, in the leg, in the arm, and grabbed his ear and twisted it,

Finley was scratched from his start and did not come to the stadium.

15. “General Cramping”

After signing with the Indians in 2012, Johnny Damon was pulled from his debut with the team midway through the game. The official cause - “general cramping.”

14. Willie Green Tells Police A Stab Wound Came From Falling Down Stairs

The Browns running back was stabbed in the back, sustaining a puncture wound under his left shoulder blade. Green told police he suffered the injury by falling down the stairs. Eventually his fiancee, Asia, was arrested for felonious assault and domestic violence.

13. Delonte West Arrested With Small Arsenal

Cavaliers guard Delonte West was arrested after officers pulled him over for speeding on a motorcycle while carrying two loaded handguns and a loaded shotgun in a guitar case. This was one of many bizarre Delonte West moments during his tenure in Cleveland.

12. Dwayne Rudd Tosses Helmet, Loses Game

With the Browns leading Kansas City 39-37 late in the 4th quarter, Dwayne Rudd, thinking he had sacked Kansas City’s Trent Green, had his back to the play and didn’t see the quarterback flip the ball to 6-foot-6, 323-pound tackle John Tait, who rumbled 28 yards to the Browns 25. Rudd threw his helmet 15 yards in celebration, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The penalty set up Morten Anderson to kick the game-winning field goal for the Chiefs as time expired.

11. Rick Manning: Home-Wrecker

In 1977, Manning had surgery for a broken back suffered sliding into second base in a game vs the Mariners. The injury would lead to Manning playing a major role in Cleveland’s trade of Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley.

Indians pitcher Dennis Eckersley offered to let Manning stay at his house while he recovered. Dennis’ wife Denise became romantically involved with Manning during this time and left Eckersley for Manning.

Eckersley was traded with Fred Kendall on March 30, 1978 to the Boston Red Sox for Rick Wise, Mike Paxton, Bo Díaz, and Ted Cox. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004.

10. Scot Pollard Has An Interesting Message For Kids

Via YouTube

During a game in 2007, Cavs backup center Scot Pollard was put on camera while sitting on the bench. Pollard, while smiling, looked at the camera and said, “Hey kids, do drugs.”

Pollard later explained that he didn’t realize the camera was on and was just joking with the operator.

9. Carlos Boozer Bolts Cleveland After “Miscommunication”

Before entering his 3rd season with Cleveland, Carlos Boozer and the Cavaliers agreed on a handshake deal that the team would decline Boozer’s team option and that he would sign a six year, $41 million deal to stay in Cleveland long-term. Enter the Utah Jazz, who offered $68 million and stole Boozer, who blamed the situation on a “miscommunication” with management.

8. “The Midge Game”

Known as the “Bug Game” or “Midge Game” to Cleveland fans, Game 2 of the 2007 ALDS seemed like a losing battle for the Indians. Down 1-0 entering the 8th inning, a swarm of tiny Lake Erie Midges began to circle the mound. Fausto Carmona was unfazed, but Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain allowed the tying run to score on two walks and two wild pitches. The Indians won the game in extra innings, 2-1.

7. Ricky Davis Wanted a Triple-Double (Really, Really Bad)

In a 2003 matchup against the Utah Jazz, Cavs wingman Ricky Davis found himself one rebound shy of a triple-double. After Utah scored with six seconds remaining in the game, Davis took an inbounds pass and prepared to take a shot at the wrong basket to “earn” his 10th rebound. DeShawn Stevenson had none of it, quickly fouling Davis as he shot.

Jazz coach Jerry Sloan wasn’t happy. “Let him try to get it when the game means something,” Sloan said after. “I was proud of DeShawn and I would have knocked him down harder. They can put me in jail for saying that, but that’s the way it is.”

6. Chris Perez Buys Marijuana in His Dog’s Name

Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez was fined $250 and sentenced to a one year of probation after pleading no contest to misdemeanor charges stemming from his June arrest after a package containing nine ounces of marijuana was delivered to his house in his dog’s name.

5. Cavaliers Prepare For Draft…With Basketball Cards

When the Cleveland Cavaliers joined in 1970, coach Bill Fitch and assistant Jim Lessig had only had forty-eight hours to prepare for the dispersal draft. Fitch sent Lessig to the corner drugstore, ordering his assistant to buy all the basketball cards he could get his hands on. When Lessig returned to the hotel, they spread all the cards out on their beds and tried to figure out who was available.

The Cavs did end up with Bobby “Bingo” Smith, who played 9 seasons in Cleveland and has his #7 retired by the team.

4. Ted Stephien’s Odd Family Introduction

According to the book “Cavs: From Fitch to Fratello”, former team owner Ted Stepien was known to introduce his daughter with the line “Doesn’t she have great (chest)?”

3. Dave Winfield Traded…For Dinner

The Minnesota Twins dealt Dave Winfield to the Indians for a Player to be Named Later at the trading deadline in 1994. But, two weeks later, before Winfield could play for the Tribe or a player could be named, a strike ended the season. To settle the trade, executives from Minnesota and Cleveland decided to go out for dinner and the Indians picked up the check. Seriously.

2. Orlando Brown Temporarily Blinded by Referee Throwing an Errant Flag

Orlando Brown, offensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns, was temporarily blinded in one eye by a referee’s errant penalty flag. Brown filed a $200 million lawsuit against the NFL.

1. Indians Pitcher Shot on Team Bus; Saved By Go-Go Boots

In 2004 Indians pitcher Kyle Denney was hit in the right calf by a shot that came through the side of the Indians’ bus in Kansas City as the team traveled to the airport after a victory over the Royals. According to Denney and team trainers, the bullet caused only a flesh wound because of the tough leather of the knee-high boot Denney was wearing.

All of Cleveland’s rookies were decked out in outrageous outfits on the bus, part of a hazing ritual. Denney said his teammates told him to dress as a USC cheerleader, hence the white leather go-go boots.

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