Lifelong Cleveland Indians Fan Lives Out Her Dream
FORT MYERS, FL (March 1, 2000) – For Shell Point resident Ann Hermann, it was never too late to fulfill a childhood dream.
In her case, the great American dream involved the great American pastime, baseball. “I was a great baseball fan from my early teens,” says Hermann, an Ohioan who grew up a diehard Cleveland Indians fan. “My grandfather would sometimes pull some strings to get us box seats,” she says. She followed the Tribe through their glory years of the late 1930’s, when she watched in person such legends as pitcher Bob Feller, arguably the greatest Cleveland player ever.
Thus sprouted the dream: to be batgirl for the Cleveland Indians.
It was a desire that lay dormant for many years – about 60 years, in fact. Ann and her husband Phillip retired and moved to Shell Point about six years ago, where they have been busy with a number of hobbies and activities. However, it was while attending a recent motivational seminar that Hermann was encouraged to actively pursue her innermost dreams. That’s when, according to her, “It just popped into my brain… I’ve always want to be the batgirl for the Cleveland Indians.”
Enter Bob Dowdell, whose Fort Myers-based company, Major Sports Fantasies, Inc. conducts baseball fantasy camps across the country. When Hermann met Dowdell, and learned that he was bringing a bevy of Major League legends into Fort Myers for a week in January, she pitched him an unusual idea – let her be the batgirl for one of his teams. “But I’m not being a batgirl for just anyone,” she reminded him, “it’s got to be the Cleveland Indians.”
Luckily for both of them, ex-Indian pitchers Jim “Mudcat” Grant and Lee Stange were planning on coaching teams – and this is important – wearing the Cleveland uniform. After more than 60 years, Ann Hermann was about to live out her dream.
For that week, she not only became batgirl, but also served as official scorekeeper for her team. She performed her duties with pride, and the players and pros treated her as part of the team, calling her “Annie.” She tossed jokes back and forth with Ferguson Jenkins, and got the chance to meet such legends as Johnny Bench and Frank Robinson.
It was a whirlwind week for all participants, but for Ann Hermann, it was even more so. Because she had taken action and pursued her lifelong dream, she was able to live it out in style. She once again became, as she puts it, “that kid with the incredible fantasy.” And what’s more, she made it come true.