Adams’ drum finds new home in Cooperstown

by Dan Holland

The legacy of former Brecksville resident John Adams, who passed away in January 2023 at the age of 71, will continue on not only at Progressive Field but also at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.

The famed bass drum and the pair of mallets that Adams beat for nearly 50 years in support of the Cleveland Indians is now on display in the museum’s third-floor “Your Team Today” exhibit, which features items from all 30 Major Leage Baseball teams.

The team changed its name from Cleveland Indians to Cleveland Guardians following the 2021 season.

In August 2022, Adams, whose health was in decline at the time, was inducted into the Cleveland Guardians Distinguished Hall of Fame. A bronze replica of his drum and mallets, along with a replica of his bleacher seat, can be visited in Heritage Park at Progressive Field, located behind the centerfield fence. Adams attended more than 3,700 home games while fulfilling his unique “superfan” role.

The well-known drum and mallets will eventually be returned to Progressive Field and be placed in a team historical exhibit once ongoing renovations at the ballpark are completed.

Adams first brought his 27-inch-wide bass drum, which he purchased at a garage sale for $25, to Cleveland Municipal Stadium on Aug. 24, 1973, where he faithfully began to keep the beat going from the top of the bleachers, rarely missing a home game. Adams, who carried his drum to the stadium for each game, continued the tradition when the team moved to the newly opened Jacobs Field in 1994, where he continued from the top of the bleachers in section 183 through the 2019 season.

The Cleveland Guardians announced last August that the bleachers at Progressive Field will be named in honor of Adams during the April 8, 2024 Opening Day ceremonies. A plaque is mounted on the wall above his longtime perch at the top-center of the left field bleachers. ∞

Photo (main / above): The famous bass drum and mallets John Adams used to rally the Cleveland Indians to victory is now featured in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Photo submitted by the Cleveland Guardians.