Cleveland rallies around Indians super fan who died from stroke

Posted at 5:58 PM, Jun 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-09 19:33:25-04

We are "all in" — For those of us who call this city home, it is more than just a cute catchphrase. 

When the going gets tough, Clevelanders rise to the occasion. 

Austin Landau, 34, was one of the loudest and most loyal Indians fans. 

His voice on Twitter was tragically silenced earlier this year. 

How social media is responding is proof sports fans in this city are the best. 

Earlier this Spring, after a Saturday morning donut run with his 6-year-old daughter, Landau went into work for a few hours. 

"Said he was going to make it a short day at work so we could spend family time together," said Crystal Ellin-Wood, Austin's wife.

But he never made it home. 

Ellin-Wood was with their children when they drove past a tow truck and police officer. 

"We went ahead and drove by and my oldest looked at it and said 'that looks like daddy's truck,'" she said.

It was his truck but there was no sign of Austin. 

"I called him three times, he didn't answer his phone so I knew something wasn't right because he always answered his phone for me," said Ellin-Wood

Austin held on for a few hours but passed away March 19 after suffering a massive stroke behind the wheel.

"It's so hard because he truly was the most phenomenal man in the world," she said.

News of Austin's death hit the local Twitter community pretty hard.

User @SPORTSYELLING, who knew the fellow Tribe fan, stepped up to help support the family he tragically left behind, which included a 3-month-old daughter Belle. 

“Named after Albert Belle who used to play for the Cleveland Indians," said Ellin-Wood.

@SPORTSYELLING contacted GV Artwork to create a t-shirt in Austin's honor — with a good chunk of the proceeds going to his family.

"Our blood bleeds Cleveland," said Ellin-Wood.

She tells News 5: "Our Indians Twitter community has always been close. Our love goes beyond the game of baseball. We are truly a family."

The shirt says "Bat Magic" which was a hashtag Austin used quite often. A bottle of rum is a nod to the movie Major League. 

The shirt is generating a lot of interest. 

“No one really knew we were doing it, so when we officially posted it and teased it the response was crazy," said Greg Vlosich of GV Artwork. "I feel like every Indians fan was reposting this saying it was amazing," 

As Crystal continues to move forward without the love of her life, this simple gesture is going a long way. 

"If I just laid in bed and just grieved and didn't do anything, that's not the person Austin fell in love with. So I know I need to make a difference," said Ellin-Wood.

Crystal and her family live in Marion, Ohio. They're making the trip up to Progressive Field to honor Austin at Saturday's game.