CLEVELAND -- It was early in the season when Indians first baseman Mike Napoli first noticed a sign in right field that read, "Party at Napoli's." The phrase has since been a rally cry for the fanbase throughout the summer.
Nate Crowe, a Tribe season ticket holder, was the fan that hoisted the sign in that early regular-season game. Eventually, Crowe, Napoli and the Indians worked with company, 108 Stitches, to create a shirt with the phrase "Party at Napoli's" donned on the front. Over 9,000 shirts have since been sold.
"It provided an opportunity," Napoli said. "They came to me asking to sell shirts. I made sure we could turn it into something to make money for a good cause. I'm really happy how it's turned out. It's awesome how the people caught on to it."
On Sunday, it paid off in a big way: Napoli, Crowe and 108 stitches donated a combined $121,000 in proceeds from the T-shirts sold to the Cleveland Clinic Children's and VeloSano prior to the 6-5 walk-off win over the Marlins.
"It's definitely way more than I envisioned," Napoli said. "I have to give a lot of thanks to the fans, 108 Stitches and the Cleveland Indians. It's just something really cool that I'm fortunate to be able to be in the position to give something back to the children."
To celebrate, Napoli was scheduled to host a party after Sunday's game at The Corner at Progressive Field. For the event, Napoli and manager Terry Francona would be in attendance and serving beverages. In addition, there would be a silent auction for items, including a meet-and-greet with Napoli. The proceeds will also go to Cleveland Clinic Children's, VeloSano and Cleveland Indians Charities.
Napoli was looking forward to having a real party but hoped his bartending skills are up to the task.
"It's going to be cool," Napoli said. "It's another opportunity to make some money. It will be fun to have fans there and have a good time. Hopefully, my bartending skills are good."
Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.