Razor Shines returns to Victory Field Tuesday
INDIANAPOLIS -- Razor Shines, arguably the most popular player in Indianapolis Indians history, will return to Victory Field on Tuesday when the Charlotte Knights come to town for a 7 p.m. contest.
Shines is in his first season as Charlotte's manager and his seventh campaign as a Minor League skipper. The Knights have the best record in all of professional baseball (26-8, .765) heading into Saturday's action.
Shines will sign autographs on the Victory Field concourse beginning at 6 p.m. He will also be recognized during a special pre-game ceremony at 6:45 p.m.
Longtime Indians season ticket holder Kerry Smith will display a collection of Razor Shines memorabilia on the concourse, while a limited number of autographed photos will be given away throughout the night.
One of the city's most well-known athletes during his time, Shines led Indianapolis to five American Association regular-season titles during the 1980s ('84, '86, '87, '88 and '89). The Durham, N.C, native spent a total of nine seasons with the Tribe -- 1984-89, 1991-93 -- before joining the coaching ranks. He was named the Tribe's Most Valuable Player in 1984 after tying for the club lead with 80 RBI.
"Fans equate popularity to winning and I think that's what happened," Shines said in a radio interview earlier this month. "We were winning consistently and that certainly helped. Fans probably followed me because I was in Indianapolis for so many years. I always tried to make sure that I gave fans one-on-one time because they deserved it. I truly enjoyed being part of such a successful organization.
"We had great leadership in the clubhouse and it all started with our manager Joe Sparks. We expected to win and that became contagious. When guys came up from Double-A, they knew about our winning tradition. We knew we were going to win the league championship towards the end of the 1986 season. There was a saying that players 'were sent down to Montreal and promoted to Indianapolis.'"
The Indians honored Shines in 1993 with "Razor Shines Day." He and Frank Sigafoos (1933) are believed to be the only two players in over 100 years of Indians Baseball to be honored with a special day.
"It was also an outstanding day and I'm still honored by it," Shines added. "Every time I think about it, I get chills. From an emotional standpoint, it was tough to get through. I realized how many people in central Indiana cared about me."
Shines began his affiliation with the Chicago White Sox in 2001. He managed Low-A Kannapolis (N.C.) for one year, High-A Winston-Salem (N.C.) for two seasons and Double-A Birmingham (Ala.) for two campaigns. He picked up Southern League Manager of the Year honors in 2005 after leading the Barons to an 82-57 record.
Indianapolis and Charlotte will continue their four-game series with games on Wednesday (2 p.m.), Thursday (7 p.m.) and Friday (7 p.m.).
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