Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

Indians News arrow-downArrow Down icon Arrow Up icon

Chernoff shares tradition of catch with dad

@MandyBell02
May 7, 2020

CLEVELAND -- Catch is an activity that stretches far beyond the game of baseball. It’s something so simple that people of all ages can play it wherever, whenever -- even if that means in the middle of a parking lot during a worldwide pandemic. Family traditions are common throughout the

CLEVELAND -- Catch is an activity that stretches far beyond the game of baseball. It’s something so simple that people of all ages can play it wherever, whenever -- even if that means in the middle of a parking lot during a worldwide pandemic.

Family traditions are common throughout the world, but Indians general manager Mike Chernoff and his father have been dedicated to a particularly unique ritual. Since Chernoff was 6 years old, he and his dad have played catch once each month without fail, a total of nearly 400 consecutive months and counting. And while there could’ve been concern that they wouldn’t be able to check off April due to the quarantine restrictions of the coronavirus, the duo found a way to keep the tradition going.

“We’ve had some crazy ones,” Chernoff said during an interview on High Heat on MLB Network Thursday morning. “Layovers where we meet at an airport or do something at like 11:50 at night on the last day of the month. This probably ranks up there as the top one, though.”

Chernoff’s father lives in New Jersey; the Indians GM, in Cleveland. In order for the two to meet to get their round of catch in last month, they had to find an equidistant meeting spot in the middle of Pennsylvania.

“Thankfully we can throw more than six feet,” Chernoff joked. “So we could stay socially distanced the entire time.”

The pair had gloves -- leather and latex for safety measures -- on their hands and masks on their faces as they stepped out of their cars at a rest stop on the side of the highway. Each drove 3 1/2 hours, stopped for 30 minutes of catch, then turned around and drove back to their respective homes.

To some it may sound crazy, but to the Chernoffs, there was no other option. That dedication is the reason why the two are closing in on 33 years of finding time every 30 days to get together for a leisurely round of catch.

“It worked out perfectly,” Chernoff said. “I got there about five minutes before he did, and it worked out great.”

Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.