In 1997, an Indians Title Was Put in Writing, Until the Story Changed


Florida Marlins’ Craig Counsell was greeted by teammates, after he scored the winning run on an Edgar Renteria hit in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series.

Eric Draper/Associated Press

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians remain one victory from winning their first World Series in 68 years. But in an alternate universe, the Indians’ wait for another championship is not nearly that long.

Somewhere, perhaps at the bottom of a landfill on Staten Island, is the decaying hard drive of my old laptop on which I once wrote a story that included the following words: “After 49 years of frustration and misery, the Cleveland Indians won the 1997 World Series.”

At the time, I was working for another New York newspaper and typed out that sentence in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7 of the World Series, in Miami, with the Indians about to vanquish the Florida Marlins and become baseball’s champions.

It was gorgeous prose, I convinced myself, suitable for the occasion. This was, it should be noted, before the Boston Red Sox or the Chicago White Sox went on to break…

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