A historic and memorable piece of Cleveland sports memorabilia as returned for the Cleveland Indians.
Jobu, the Voodoo statue from the movie Major League is back in the Cleveland Indians’ clubhouse. Baseball fans, especially Tribe fans, have a special place in their hearts for that movie and the ones that followed as the plot’s focus was the Tribe throughout the course of multiple seasons.
Jobu is back in the team’s clubhouse thanks to first baseman/designated hitter Mike Napoli and second baseman Jason Kipnis. Napoli first acquired a Jobu statue after signing with the Cleveland Indians this past offseason as a gift from his agent. Kipnis added a second Jobu statue after Napoli’s was already in place.
Outfielder Pedro Cerrano prayed and worshiped Jobu in Major League. It is unlikely that is the approach for Napoli and Kipnis. Instead, both players could be (likely) are using Jobu as a good luck piece.
"A sweater with a picture of Jobu and the inscription, “It is very bad to drink Jobu’s rum. Very bad,” hangs in the locker."
Jobu could be just what the Cleveland Indians needed. Despite bullpen, outfield, and injury issues, the Tribe are playing some great baseball. They currently have a two and a half game lead sitting atop the A.L. Central division with a 40-30 record.
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However, in past years, Cleveland also has played great early on in the season. Once the middle of June to some time in July comes around, the Tribe’s play has gone downhill. Will that be the case again this season? That will be determined but right now everything seems to be align right.
The veteran Napoli has been the Cleveland Indians best free agent pickup this season. He has hit 15 home runs, drove in 49 runs, and have walked 26 times all while batting .237. Kipnis, meanwhile, has eight home runs, 36 RBI, and is batting .266.
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Their talent and high level of play are the reasons why they both are having success. Yet, the Jobu statues also could be key because of what the fictional Cleveland Indians were able to achieve in the movie. The items may be that extra spark of motivation the real Tribe team needs.
This is the type of thing that more Cleveland players should do during the course of their season. We see many stories about other players across the country who do similar things to help motivate or spark their team.
Having Jobu in the clubhouse on the other hand, is one of a kind. Not every team can bring in items or memorabilia with a similar level of influence/impact based on its movie role.
Whatever Tribe players decide to do next will be tough to top Jobu. Until then, hopefully the current Cleveland Indians can maintain the level of motivation to continue to do big things in 2016.