Black Keys Drummer Patrick Carney Subbing In For Local Legend John Adams At Cleveland Indians Home Opener

Black Keys Drummer Patrick Carney Subbing In For Local Legend John Adams At Cleveland Indians Home Opener

At almost every Cleveland Indians home game since August 25, 1973, a man named John Adams has played a bass drum in the last row of the left field bleachers. That summer, a 21-year-old Adams brought his drum to Cleveland Stadium because he wanted to participate in the tradition of banging on seats to make noise during the game, but he preferred to sit in the bleachers, where there are no seat backs to bang. A local reporter noticed Adams with his drum and asked whether he’d be back to drum at the next game. As the story goes, Adams said no, but the reporter wrote that Adams would indeed be back. So out of a sense of obligation, Adams returned for the next game, and then the next, and then the next. He’s kept it up for nearly half a century, missing only about 45 games in the past 48 years.

Adams has become a local legend; the team pays for two season tickets for him and his drum and even holds a recurring John Adams bobblehead night. But he’s recovering from some recent health problems and will have to miss the Tribe’s home opener for the first time in 48 years. As reports, Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney — one of the only drummers from Northeast Ohio who rivals Adams’ local fame — will fill in for Adams at Monday’s game against the Kansas City Royals. The team sought to make Adams’ presence felt even though he can’t be there, and as they explained in a statement today, “The offer that seemed most appropriate to honor the occasion came from Akron native and Black Keys drummer, Patrick Carney.”

Carney issued his own statement on the matter:

When I found out that John Adams wouldn’t be able to make Opening Day in Cleveland for the first time in almost fifty years, I reached out to the team. I share John’s love of baseball and the Cleveland Indians franchise and drumming for him during the home opener when he can’t physically be there feels like a meaningful way to show John the love and respect he deserves. I want to be there for John.

The Indians-Royals game begins at 4:10PM ET this Monday, 4/5. It will mark exactly five years since Carney threw out the first pitch at an Indians game in 2016. Read our recent career-spanning interview with Carney here.

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