CLEVELAND, Ohio — John Adams, a beloved figure in the hearts of Cleveland baseball enthusiasts for nearly five decades, will soon find his legacy immortalized as his cherished drum and mallets secure a distinguished spot amidst other historical relics within the hallowed halls of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.
The venerable museum’s curators have revealed plans to prominently showcase the renowned drum, which Adams first introduced to the Municipal Stadium on August 24, 1973. It will be exhibited among an array of on-field team artifacts, including cleats, bats, and bases, situated within the “Your Team Today” exhibit situated on the Hall’s esteemed third floor.
Last week, the Guardians organization disclosed their decision to entrust Adams’ drum to Cooperstown “for the foreseeable future,” a move prompted by the ongoing renovations underway at Progressive Field. This revered instrument bore witness to Adams’ steadfast rhythmic contributions from the uppermost bleacher row since the stadium’s inauguration in 1994. In a tribute set to resonate with fans, the bleachers at Progressive Field will be aptly christened in Adams’ honor on the commencement of the 2024 opening day.
Adams, who passed away in January at the age of 71, procured the drum for a modest $25 from a garage sale, thereafter faithfully transporting it with him to every ballpark visit. Adams’ unwavering dedication manifested in his near-perfect attendance at games, a commitment that etched his name into the tapestry of Cleveland sports history. His percussive accompaniment echoed through three World Series campaigns and multiple division victories, etching his place in the annals of Cleveland sports.
The designated area in Cooperstown, chosen to house Adams’ cherished drum, boasts an inviting “clubhouse feel” characterized by 30 lockers, each representing a Major League Baseball club. Jon Shestakofsky, the Hall’s Vice President of Communications and Content, underscored that this arrangement serves to spotlight the most recent significant narratives and players for each team.
Shestakofsky expressed, “Given John’s profound connection with the team, it was only fitting for the drum to find its home here. We’re eagerly anticipating the opportunity to share this history and provide fans the chance to engage with these artifacts, fostering a meaningful connection with Cleveland’s baseball legacy over the forthcoming years.”
As this season draws to a close, a designated team representative will embark on a special journey to Cooperstown, ensuring the drum’s immaculate preservation during transit. Although a specific timeline for its inclusion in the exhibit remains uncertain, Shestakofsky conveyed that the Hall frequently employs its social media platforms to announce noteworthy acquisitions and displays.
Ultimately, the drum will return to Progressive Field to occupy a designated spot within a team-centric historical exhibition. In the interim, a bronze replica of the drum and mallets, alongside a reimagined rendition of Adams’ bleacher seat, graces the Heritage Park vicinity of the ballpark. Fans are cordially invited to share a seat with this replica, an emblematic tribute situated beyond the outfield fence.