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Cleveland loves Strasburg

By now, perhaps you've seen photos of this truly remarkable Cleveland Indians merchandise booth outside Progressive Field, featuring an awful lot of Stephen Strasburg attire. D.C. media members and fans have been sending back photos of the booth all weekend. And Cleveland's writer confirmed on Sunday that yes, as it looks, this booth is actually entirely devoted to the star pitcher from the Nationals.

From Anthony Castrovince's story:

People were lining up to buy a No. 37 jersey at Progressive Field on Sunday, and it wasn't Tribe right-hander Jake Westbrook's No. 37 they were interested in. It was that of Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg, making his second career Major League start.

Taking full advantage of what some dubbed "Strasmas" -- i.e. the dramatic, Christmas-like effect Strasburg's presence had on ticket sales for Sunday's matinee, which drew their second-largest crowd of the season -- the Indians made what is believed to be an unprecedented move in this ballpark, dedicating an entire merchandise stand to an opponent.

"We just wanted to maximize the opportunity," said Bob DiBiasio, the Indians' vice president of public relations. "It only makes sense."

Every item in the store was apparently some form of Strasburg apparel. MASN's Byron Kerr reported that by the sixth inning, the booth had sold out of Strasburg jerseys in sizes medium and large. The Indians also announced a crowd of 32,876, only the second time they've gone about 26,000 all season. (The other was Opening Day.)

There's only one other D.C. athlete who has caused anything approaching this sort of frenzy away from home. And while Strasburg isn't generating Alex Ovechkin-type mobs of autograph seekers, photographers and frenzied fans, I'm not sure Ovechkin has ever inspired an entire merchandise stand in an away venue.

(Images via Mister Irrelevant, @cnichols14 and @08Cubs.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 13, 2010; 9:11 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Nats  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Strasburg's strikeouts: the radio call
Next: Charles Mann calls out Albert Haynesworth


Makes sense that there'd be a ton of Nats fans at the game with the thousands of DC residents migrating to Cleveland each year.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | June 13, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

The club might like him, but the fans sure don't. They booed him like crazy when he left the game,

Posted by: Salinas1 | June 13, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

It seemed that way but the booing was actually for the 2nd or so trip to the mound to fix the hole he was stepping into. When he was pulled shortly after I don't recall booing...but...

Posted by: jbfromfc | June 13, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

I thought they were booing the fact that Strasburg was being pulled from the game, and not Strasburg himself.

Posted by: cali_snowboarder | June 14, 2010 2:47 AM | Report abuse

Scott Boras must be taking notes on this and will factor in a % of merchandise sales in the contract talks for Bryce Harper.

Posted by: bbmcoachk | June 14, 2010 5:32 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see the Amish getting in on the Strasburg action.

Posted by: Kev29 | June 14, 2010 7:07 AM | Report abuse

I took the booing as the fans didn't want Riggleman to take him out.

You could see how the "Jake" cleared out after the 6th inning that the overflow of fans were there to see Mr. Strasburg.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | June 14, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Strasburg shows promise but let's get a season or two out of him before we start comparing him to OVIE, a two time league MVP

Posted by: poguesmahone | June 14, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

The Orioles sell Red Sox merchandise when the Red Sox are in Baltimore, probably sell Yankee stuff also but I don't go to those games, because these two teams fill up the stadium. It's all about making money.

Posted by: jtsw | June 14, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see the Amish getting in on the Strasburg action.
Posted by: Kev29
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.

Posted by: jedd_narsavage | June 14, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

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