Remembering the good

Champion native Sarnasy has relics from ’48 title team

Tribune Chronicle / Guy Vogrin Sandy Susarny, a former nurse from Champion, displays a baseball that was signed by some members of the 1948 World Champion Indians. Sandy used to go to ballgames in 1950s with her Aunt Honey and got lots of autographs and pictures with the star players of the era, including her favorite Al Rosen, Bob Lemon, Bob Feller, Larry Doby and Satchel Paige.

CHAMPION — Sandy Sarsany has been a Cleveland Indians fan for about seven decades, dating back to the time when she was a little girl living in Youngstown.

“My Aunt Honey would take me with her to Cleveland on a Greyhound bus for weekend home games,” Sarsany said. “That would be a Friday night, Saturday afternoon and a Sunday afternoon.”

Sarsany now lives in Champion with her husband, Paul.

Both of them have been “suffering” through the World Series. Paul Sarsany said he is not as big a fan as his wife, but he is in charge of the snacks and drinks.

“I pop the popcorn and make sure we are comfortable as possible,” he laughed.

Tribune Chronicle / Guy Vogrin Sarsany, of Champion, thumbs through an old black-and-white picture album filled with pictures of Cleveland ballplayers of the 1940s and 1950s.

This week, Sandy Sarsany, a former nurse,  pulled out a few of her Tribe memorabilia from another era.

“We would stay at the Hotel Auditorium because that’s where the ball players stayed,” said Sarsany as she talked about her childhood with Aunt Honey. “After the games we would wait outside the stadium for the ballplayers to come get pictures and autographs.”

The players were more accessible back then, she said. Today, usually there are chain-linked fences and gates to separate fans and their heroes.

“They were very friendly and very approachable,” Sarsany said. “I think the game was better back then. The players seemed to have less distractions.”

Paul Sarsany said he used to be a player himself on the sandlots  of Warren at Perkins Park. The couple said they met in a hospital when Paul was a patient and Sandy was his nurse.

Tribune Chronicle / Guy Vogrin Sarsany, of Champion, thumbs through an old black-and-white picture album filled with pictures of Cleveland ballplayers of the 1940s and 1950s.

“I have been following her to baseball games ever since,” he said.

Sandy Sarsany picked up a worn baseball with faded signatures, but she could rattle off the names as if they were today’s superstars. There was Jim Hegan, Dale Mitchell, Bob Lemon, Satchel Paige, Larry Doby and Bob Feller, many of whom starred for the 1948 Tribe World Championship team.

Sarsany said her favorite was Al Rosen. In fact, several years ago, the former slugger visited Progressive Field on a special bobblehead giveaway. When Rosen passed by her seat near the dugout, Sarsany said she started crawling on top of the dugout yelling, “Hey, Mr. Rosen, do you remember me? I used to watch you as a little girl!”

“The security guard thought I was nuts,” laughed Sarsany as she cradled the Rosen bobblehead.

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