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Indians staff hard at work behind the scenes

7:31 AM, Oct 1, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- The Indians are at work behind the scenes to get Progressive Field in shape for Wednesday's Wild Card game and the national spotlight coming with it. 

"It's a lot of preparation and a lot to squeeze into just a couple days," said Joel Hammond with the Indians communication team. 

From the moment Jason Kipnis threw to Masterson to clinch the final out Sunday and the wild card, "from then it's full go," says Hammond.

"We're happy that we're in, we're happy that we're here, We're happy for our fans to be able to experience at least one more game here at Progressive Field," he said. 

The Tribe expects a 43 percent increase in sales over a normal game day, meaning every postseason game is like an opening day game and then some. 

"You hope we don't take this for granted," he said. "It doesn't come around every year as we've seen so you really have to take advantage of it when it does." 

So everyone is pitching in to prepare for the pageantry of the playoffs. Indians.com/jobs lists posts for additional staff to keep concessions and merchandise flowing. 

"At this time of year, you don't hear too many complaints about staying late or coming in early," said Hammond, adding that some staffers started at 3 a.m. Monday to prepare. 

The stadium gets extra seats, playoff decorations and a thorough once over.  

The team announced Monday evening that legendary Indian Andre Thornton will throw the first pitch and local acoustic rock artist Dan Polk will start the night with the Star Spangled Banner. 

Polk tells Channel 3's Sara Shookman that he got the call just 45 minutes after the game ended Sunday. 

"I said, yeah, I think I could make some time to do it," said Polk with a laugh. "Put me in Coach!" 

Polk's been performing for the Indians and other local teams for more than 20 years. 

He was the first soloist to perform at Jacob's Field after it was built in 1994.  

"This one will be a little bit higher dynamic as far as the nervousness goes," he said. "This one will be very special." 

And he asks that all 42,000 fans, rocking out red at the Tribe's request, sing along. 

"Whenever they tell me to go out there and hit my mark and sing it, I'll just go out and rip it out and hopefully we'll pull it off," said Polk.

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