Baseball-Francona catches future glimpse of Indians on parade

By Steve Keating CLEVELAND, Oct 31 (Reuters) - The Cleveland Indians have forgotten after 68 years how it feels to win a World Series but manager Terry Francona caught a glimpse from the Progressive Field bleachers earlier this year of what it might look like. While Cleveland stopped to wildly celebrate the Cavaliers winning an NBA title in June with a parade through the downtown core, it was work day for Francona and the Indians, who had a game that night. But Francona, like seemingly every other Clevelander that day, was drawn to the party, walking up to the top of Progressive Field, where his team will try to clinch a World Series title on Tuesday with a Game Six win over the Chicago Cubs, to soak up the celebration. "It was hard not to get caught up in it," recalled Francona on Monday, as the best-of-seven Fall Classic shifted back to Cleveland with the Indians in control 3-2. "Shoot, the day of the parade I know myself and there were a lot of us, went up to the upper deck just because I wanted to watch the parade. "From that vantage point, I think they were expecting 700,000 and I think they about doubled it. "So you saw how the city reacted. But then also you kind of saw how the Cavs reacted. I thought it was really cool all the way around." It had been 52 years since Cleveland had celebrated any type of championship, the city mocked as the "Mistake by the Lake" having endured the longest title drought in North American professional sport. But there are still plenty of sporting demons to be exorcised in Cleveland and winning a World Series tops that list. Almost overlooked in the hysteria surrounding the Cubs 108-year World Series drought are the Indians and their fans, who have suffered through their own baseball torture, having not won the Fall Classic since 1948. Righthander Josh Tomlin, the longest tenured member of the Tribe who will get the Game Six start, understands the heartache better than most and would like nothing more than to bring another parade to the city. "We had a game that day, so I remember it was tough to get here," said Tomlin. "What they (Cavaliers) accomplished was huge, and it was cool to watch. "Our main focus right now is to try to win this thing so we can have a parade." (Editing by Andrew Both)