Tribe great Baerga leads Game 2 festivities

Tribe great Baerga leads Game 2 festivities

CLEVELAND -- Carlos Baerga, a member of the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame and the Tribe's 1995 American League championship team, threw out the first pitch prior to Game 2 of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on a rainy Wednesday night.

Baerga received a loud ovation from the sold-out crowd and, despite the wet weather, wound up and tossed a perfect strike.

"It is an honor for me to be picked by the Cleveland Indians and Major League Baseball," Baerga said. "To realize the career I had here, the opportunity to play in the World Series and the numbers in the All-Star Game, to be here is very exciting."

Game Date Matchup Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 25 CLE 6, CHC 0 video
Gm 2 Oct. 26 CHC 5, CLE 1 video
Gm 3 Oct. 28 CLE 1, CHC 0 video
Gm 4 Oct. 29 CLE 7, CHC 2 video
Gm 5 Oct. 30 CHC 3, CLE 2 video
Gm 6 Nov. 1 CHC 9, CLE 3 video
Gm 7 Nov. 2 CHC 8 CLE, 7 (10) video

The nice pitch was no coincidence. Baerga manages the Tiburones de Aguadilla, a winter ball club in Puerto Rico's Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League. On Monday, fellow Tiburones coach and Indians veteran Alex Cora posted a video on Twitter of Baerga practicing his first pitch during Aguadilla's batting practice.

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"I was getting ready to throw batting practice and I said, 'Let me throw one to see how I feel for Tuesday,'" Baerga recalled. "Alex was making fun of me. I threw it from the mound. I threw a nice pitch. I will be a little nervous here in front of the crowd, but I will let it go."

Baerga also commented on the abundance of young Puerto Rican superstars playing in the big leagues.

"Francisco LindorCarlos CorreaJavier Baez … it's amazing the way these kids are playing," Baerga said. "We are very proud in Puerto Rico to have these guys bringing back memories of Roberto Alomar, Ivan Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez, Bernie Williams, Juan Gonzalez; all of the great guys. That was the best time in Puerto Rico."

The game ball was delivered to the mound by Zaylianny Mojica Mendez, 18, who is a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Celveland and a senior at Lincoln West High School. She was accompanied by Indians legend and 1980 American League Rookie of the Year Award winner Joe Charboneau.

The national anthem was performed by Chris Lucas and Preston Brust of the country music duo LoCash, known for their smash hits "I Know Somebody" and "I Love This Life." Lucas played 17 years of baseball growing up in Baltimore and is an Orioles fan. Brust, who is from Indiana, is a huge Cubs fan.

LoCash sings anthem on FOX

"We love MLB, period," Brust said. "We're big baseball fans. We're on tour all over the country and we'll go to a Rockies game or stop by and see the Pirates, whoever. We just love baseball. So this is extra special for us to be here."

Brust also made sure to note that MLB stars Chipper Jones and Adam Jones are big LoCash fans.

"A lot of the players are LoCash fans, and we're huge baseball fans," Lucas said. "The baseball players want to be musicians, and the musicians want to be baseball players, so it's a really cool relationship with MLB and country music."

Lindsay Berra and Alyson Footer are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.