Cover image for Our tribe : a baseball memoir
Our tribe : a baseball memoir
Pluto, Terry, 1955-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster, [1999]

Physical Description:
268 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV875.C7 P59 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



In 1997, the Cleveland Indians came within a hair of winning the World Series. Instead, they blew a 2-0 lead in the ninth and lost 3-2 to the Florida Marlins in twelve innings. The Marlins franchise was only five years old. The Indians had been around forever.Terry Pluto was at that game, writing away, composing a story for the Akron Beacon Journal. At the same time, hundreds of miles away in Sarasota, Florida, his father, Tom, lay suffering -- both from the disappointment of the game and from the pain of the stroke that had debilitated him a few years earlier -- as the Indians frittered away their lead, blowing their chance of capturing their third World Series. Despite the physical distance, both Plutos were thinking the same thing: The Indians always need one more run.This has been the story of the team since its beginning. From the franchise's inception as the Cleveland Spiders in the 1890s to its current incarnation as the team that plays at Jacobs Field, the Indians have frustrated their loyal and zealous fans year in and year out. In Our Tribe, Pluto tells the story of the team through his own eyes and through the eyes of his father -- a lifelong Cleveland Indians fan -- as both witnessed the disappointments that riddled the franchise and shared in the joys that baseball brings to fans of every generation. In telling that history, Pluto also tells the story of his life, his father's life, and the life they shared together through baseball. It is a most touching and heartfelt memoir that speaks about the joys and struggles of a father and son, of the son coping with a sick father, and, finally, of burying the man who indelibly shaped the son's life.Baseball fans of almost any generation recognize the special bond between parent and child when it comes to following the sport. For so many, baseball n 1997, remains one of the most important bridges across generations, the topic of conversation when other topics seem threatening. In absorbing his father's love for the game, Pluto came to understand much that was admirable about him -- a man who allowed himself so few pleasures and recreations in a life built around laboring to provide for his family's needs. Our Tribe is the story of the team that father and son shared, a retelling of the stories and legends Pluto heard from his father about the team's past, and a linking of that past to the team Pluto has come to know from the inside.By reliving the stories of Lou Sockalexis, Bob Feller, Larry Doby, Rocky Colavito, Bill Veeck, Lou Boudreau, Omar Vizquel, Manny Ramirez, and countless others, Pluto relives the stories of his childhood and of his father's childhood when the Indians were the only thing that mattered and the one constant that hovered over father and son. What Doris Kearns Goodwin's Wait Till Next Year did for that lost generation of Brooklyn Dodgers fans, Terry Pluto's Our Tribe does for Indians fans and baseball fans everywhere.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Baseball is often a bridge between generations, a common ground where parents and children are able to abandon their differences for nine innings. Pluto, a veteran journalist with 17 books to his credit, has written the definitive book on the connection between baseball, fathers, and sons. Pluto grew up a Cleveland Indians fan, and he weaves a history of the Tribe's mostly disappointing postwar years into an examination of his relationship with his father, a hardworking World War II veteran. There were baseball moments for the child and the father, but the game never really worked its magic until the elder Pluto had a stroke that left him unable to speak and physically challenged. Pluto and his brother cared for their father, and it was as a caregiver that Terry began to understand the courage and the sacrifices made by his father and his generation. The history of the Indians provides a context for Pluto to reveal aspects of his father's life. The profiles of Bill Veeck, Larry Doby, and other Indian notables have Pluto's unique stamp as a sports journalist, but this volume is, at its core, an emotional, sincere tribute to a man who served his country without complaint, worked at an onerous job so his kids wouldn't have to do the same, and, in the end, was buried with a Tribe cap in one hand and his son's book, The Curse of Rocky Colavito (1994), in the other. A beautiful, absolutely unforgettable memoir. --Wes Lukowsky

Table of Contents

One More Run
The Stroke
The Spiders
The Name Game Manny Ramirez Joe Jackson 1920 Season LeaguePark Feller and Wright Boudreau
At War Veeck and the 1948 Indians Larry Doby Nineteen Fifty-four Roger MarisRocky Colavito and Frank Lane
Our Place, the Stadium
The Sad Saga of 1970 Wayne Garland and the Power of Delusion
The Baseball Beat The Pennant Nineteen Ninety-seven Sources