Long before Manny Ramirez earned a reputation as one of baseball most fearsome sluggers for the Boston Red Sox, the Santo Domingo native was the biggest star on the then-Cleveland Indians’ powerhouse teams of the late 1990s.
The now-Guardians certainly haven’t forgotten what Ramirez meant to that era in team history highlighted by AL pennants in 1995 and 1997: The outfielder/DH will be inducted into the Cleveland Guardians Hall of Fame in a ceremony on August 19 to honor his highly productive eight years with the team.
Joining Ramirez will be late outfielder Dale Mitchell, a lifetime .312 hitter who spent almost his entire career (1946-1956) with the Indians.
Ramirez, the 13th overall pick in the 1991 MLB draft out of George Washington High School in Washington Heights, played for Cleveland from 1993-2000 and led the Indians to two AL pennants and five Central Division first-place finishes. He was AL Rookie of the Year runner-up, was a four All-Star and won three Silver Slugger awards as an Indian.
Ramirez ranks first in slugging, third in HR (236 of his career total 555), ninth in extra-base hits and eight in RBI. His 165 ribbies in 1999 is a franchise record.
The Guardians Hall of Fame was established in 1951 and is considered the first team hall of fame in baseball.
Fans at the August 19 induction ceremony will receive a Manny Ramirez bobblehead, though it’s not clear if the doll will have dreadlocks.