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1980: Indianapolis man attends his 50th Indians home opener

Posted at 5:50 AM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 05:50:50-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Thursday night should have been the beginning of the 119th season for the Indianapolis Indians. The entire 2020 season is on hold thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which means the tradition of heading down to Victory Field will have to wait.

In fact, most traditions are on hold. Sometimes it seems like our traditions are just as important as the game. That was the case for one man former Channel 6 reporter Derrik Thomas spoke within 1980.

Clem Keller was an 83-year-old diehard Indianapolis Indians fan who attended his 50th Opening Day on April 16, 1980. Keller told Thomas why he loved baseball.

“I think that it’s the best spectator sport that there is because I can be part of the game,” Keller said. “ I can get me a scorecard for a quarter, or for 35 cents it is this year, and I can sit here, and I can watch the game. If a ball goes through the infield, I can make up my mind on whether it’s an error or a hit before they ever announce it out there on the scoreboard.”

It may have been Keller’s final home opener. A search of obituaries shows an 84-year-old named Clem Keller died January 21, 1981.