The party lives on as Mike Napoli returns to Cleveland

CLEVELAND - Though Mike Napoli has been a Texas Ranger since signing with the team in February, the party at Napoli's returned to Progressive Field Monday night.

Napoli made his first return to Cleveland since the 2016 World Series and the Indians gave him a warm welcome by presenting him with his American League Championship ring.

Napoli spoke with a group of reporters prior to the game and recalled some of his favorite memories from last year. His absolute favorite, he said, was the home run he hit into the bleachers that landed just a few rows short of John Adams' drum at the top.

But Napoli was also quick to note that his time in Cleveland meant more than just highlights between the foul poles.

"Overall, it was a special year," Napoli said prior to the game. "It'll be something that I'll be able to hopefully tell my kids someday. It's something I'll never forget."

Last year, Napoli knocked 34 home runs and tallied a career-high 101 RBI through a career-high 150 games. But it was a set of numbers off the field that meant the most.

Cleveland fans won't soon forget the "Party at Napoli's" t-shirt craze that filled the Corner at Progressive Field. The movement started with one fan -- Nate Crowe -- who showed up to the ballpark with a "Party at Napoli's" sign. 

The phrase caught fire and could soon be seen on t-shirts created by 108 Stitches everywhere. Napoli also got on board and soon, it was decided all the proceeds from the shirt sales would be donated to children at the Cleveland Clinic.

"It's just an unbelievable thing that happened, to be able to turn that into something special to raise money for kids," Napoli said. "Anytime I can try to give back, it's something I want to try to do.

"It was unbelievable, the amount of money, the way the fans took to it."

By the end of the season, the shirt sales generated nearly $200,000 for Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital.

But the party at Napoli's hasn't stopped. 

The movement for charity has carried over to Texas, where Rangers fans have kept the party going. Shirt sales in Texas raised more than $23,000 for charity in one week.

"It's been great, another opportunity to raise some money," Napoli said. "Fans are buying it and it's something that hopefully I can carry on for the rest of my career to be able to help people out."

© 2017 WKYC-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment