Kuiper shares Cleveland's joy over Cavs' title

Kuiper shares Cleveland's joy over Cavs' title

PITTSBURGH -- As a former Cleveland Indians second baseman whose career spanned a portion of the city's professional sports futility, Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper exulted over the Cavaliers' seven-game triumph against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, which ended Sunday.

"Look, I'm a Warriors fan," Kuiper was quick to say Monday. "And I pushed hard for the Warriors to win. But to lose to that team and to that city is fine by me."

Kuiper spent his first eight Major League seasons (1974-81) with the Indians before they traded him to San Francisco for right-hander Ed Whitson. He continued to live in Cleveland for several more years and watched helplessly as the city's teams endured mixed success. As the list of star-crossed Cleveland athletes lengthened -- encompassing Brian Sipe, Earnest Byner, Craig Ehlo and others -- Kuiper met many of them.

"I knew them all," Kuiper said. The frustration, he added, "crushed them."

Kuiper urged Cleveland fans to celebrate.

"This party's going to go on for a while," he said. "And I really hope that the party lasts longer than those sorrowful days that they'd have after their team just couldn't do it. Hopefully it lasts for a week or two weeks or even a month. Because those people deserve it. They back their teams and they love their players, who love it there. It's going to help that town a lot. I saw too many heads hang during the 18 years that I lived there. Now people don't have to hang them. They can hold them up high.

"The parade is Wednesday. I'd love to go. I really would. Just to see all those happy faces."

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.