CLEVELAND - Pre-Opening Day weather in Cleveland made it necessary for our 1982 Cleveland Indians to have their workout at Cleveland State University’s Woodling Gym, instead of outdoors at Cleveland Municipal Stadium.
That’s where we find, thanks to our video player, Jeff Kinzbach and four Tribe players. Kinzbach, famed for his career at WMMS, was a contributor to the WEWS “Afternoon Exchange.” The date of this interview is April 9, 1982.
We start with the show open and tease to the 5 p.m. broadcast. Fred Griffith and Wilma Smith are the co-hosts, and help Kinzbach interview Von Hayes and Jack Perconte, as well as hometown Cleveland boys Jerry Dybzinski and Chris Bando.
Not only is Dybzinski hometown product, he went to Cleveland State too. Bando and Jerry “The Dibber” Dybzinski talk about playing in their hometown.
Bando said he knows where to find the best Italian food in Cleveland, “In my own house.”
The only odd thing to me about the TV segment is the passing of the ear pieces from player to player.
As for the 1982 opener and players seen in this edition of the “Afternoon Exchange”:
According to baseballreference.com, the Indians lost the opener to the Texas Rangers in front of 62,000+ fans on a brisk 38-degree lakefront day.
Jack Perconte replaced the popular fan-favorite Duane Kuiper at second base. Kuiper was traded to San Francisco after the 1981 season.
After the 1982 season, Hayes was traded to Philadelphia for Manny Trillo, Georkge Vukovich, Jay Baller, Jerry Willard and Julio Franco.
Dybzinski would be traded to the Chicago White Sox for Pat Tabler.
Bando played most of the 80s for the Tribe before finishing his career in Oakland and Detroit.
The 1982 Indians would finish in sixth place (tied with the Toronto Blue Jays) in the American League East with a 78-84 record. Both teams finished just one game behind the New York Yankees. The Milwaukee Brewers won the division.