Cleveland Indians fans celebrate World Series appearences generations apart

Posted at 5:17 PM, Oct 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-28 17:17:53-04

We are all crossing fingers, toes and anything else we can for a win tonight. A World Series win would be emotional for everyone; young and old alike. It is the tale of two generations. One Clevelander who has the history, another, who has the spirit. Both, however have heart.

It was Sunday, Oct. 10, 1948.

It's the tale of two fans.

"I'll cry of excitement," said 10-year-old Christopher Bonilla.

Two stories. Two very different generations.

"I've waited a long time for this." said 91-year-old Joe Sirna. "68 years. I mean it's hard to believe, 68 years."

It was a mild Sunday; 55 degrees. More than 86,000 people in attendance.

"There was hand slapping and people jumping up," Sirna said while laughing.

All of the fans were tightly packed in Municipal Stadium.

"I spent four hours standing up because every time I sat down, they would stand up in front of me. If you wanted to see anything you had to stand up to see it," said Sirna.

Sirna was one of the faces in the crowd.

"Oh boy, this town went wild. This town went wild," said Sirna.?

He was 23-years-old at the time.

"We were the champs and that was the last time we were champs all the way," said Sirna.

"I heard they haven't won the championship in almost seven decades," said Bonilla.

Bonilla was one-year-old the last time the Indians played in a World Series. He was too young to remember most of it. But that is not the case this year.

"The last seconds we were like, 'We won, we won,' and then I just opened the door and ran outside screaming," said Bonilla.

Bonilla has not missed a beat.

"We're playing so good. We got good young players," said Bonilla. "The Cubs, they're giving us a good challenge and we're still winning, and we're winning by a lot."

This little fan is pretty impressive, but he has only held that title for a decade.

"Everybody's betting against us. Every series we've been in so far, we've been the underdog," said Sirna.

The most faithful fan? That title belongs to Joe Sirna.?

"I hope that they continue, because this town needs it," said Sirna.

Sirna was born in Chicago during the Great Depression. He moved to Cleveland just before his eighteenth birthday when he went to fight in the war. The Indians represented hope, not just for the city of Cleveland, but for a young man entering uncharted waters. Sirna has stood beside the tribe for nine decades, and hasn't once lost faith.

"You know there were a few years where the team was so bad that you couldn't give the tickets away," said Sirna.

Fast forward 68 years and things have changed. Sirna and Bonilla are hopeful for a win. So much so, Bonilla is already living it.

"I will run out into the neighborhood and go 'Yeah, we won' just like when we won the championship and the playoffs for the Cavs."

Sirna has been a season ticket holder for 25 years, and says this year is the year.