GOODYEAR, Ariz. — It's been more than 30 years since a Cleveland area-born position player suited up for the Indians.
Mayfield native Mitch Longo has a chance to break that streak.
After spending last season with Double-A Akron RubberDucks, Longo is a non-roster invite to the Tribe's big league camp this spring in Goodyear.
"They've welcomed me and I feel like I belong, so it's been good so far," Longo said.
After starring for Ohio University, the Indians selected Longo in the 14th round of the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft. The outfielder made successful stops with the Tribe's Single-A affiliates in Mahoning Valley, Lynchburg and Lake County before taking his talents to Akron last year. He hit .248 with 5 home runs and 29 RBI in 90 games with the RubberDucks.
Now, Longo has his sights set on heading west to Triple-A Columbus. And eventually, to one of the ballparks where he used to cheer on his hometown team as a kid.
"I still have a picture back home with my dad holding me when I was a little kid at the old Municipal Stadium that the Tribe used to play in," he said. "It's crazy how everything's worked out to this point.
"Not only that, but to have it be with Cleveland and have all the affiliates so close to home for me has been awesome, to have all my family and friends support me throughout this whole journey has been great."
Through Sunday, Mar. 1, Longo was hitting .571 (4-for-7) for the spring with two doubles and one run scored in six games of action.
Solon native Chris Bando was the last position player to take the field for the Indians back in 1988.