Spotted At Indians Stadium: A Strasburg-Only Merchandise Booth

It's one thing for the merchandise stands at Nationals Park to be filled last Tuesday almost exclusively with Stephen Strasburg jerseys and shirts. That's to be expected at the unveiling of the team's putative savior. ↵

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↵But to have that same phenomenon going on for his second start (which, by the way, was on the road in Cleveland) is just a little bit nuts. The Indians even set up a booth selling only Strasburg gear outside the Tribe's Team Shop at Progressive Field. While many would think it odd to see home fans line up to buy the merchandise of an opposing team's rising star, that's exactly what many of them did. ↵

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↵⇥Donning a Grady Sizemore jersey, 13-year-old Johnny Dudinec, of Hudson, Ohio, plunked down $25 of his own money for a Strasburg jersey T-shirt. It was the boy's own small investment in one of the more hyped rookies in Major League history, but it didn't deter him from his true rooting interests. He would wear the shirt at some point, but not on this day. ↵⇥

↵⇥"We just wanted to maximize the opportunity," said Bob DiBiasio, the Indians' vice president of public relations. "It only makes sense." ↵⇥

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↵⇥According to DiBiasio, the Indians sold roughly 13,000 tickets since midnight ET on Wednesday, following Strasburg's 14-strikeout debut against the Pirates on Tuesday night. A walkup crowd of 3,823 descended upon Progressive Field on Sunday, bringing the total announced attendance to 32,876. Only the Tribe's sold-out home opener has drawn more this season. ↵⇥

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↵While the rookie didn't duplicate the staggering performance of his debut, he was still able to earn his second victory while striking out eight hitters in five and one-third innings of work. As long as he performs near that level, teams hosting the Nats on days Strasburg is scheduled to start will likely see the Strasbump for the remainder of the season. ↵

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↵(H/T to D.C. Sports Bog. Image via Scott at WFNY.) ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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