Ron Ochmann, 91, is known as “The Mayor of Section 164” at Progressive Field, where the Cleveland Indians have played since 1994.
That’s because he moves around the venue gabbing with everyone. He knows the stadium’s ushers and their favorite restaurants, and he knows all the regulars in his section and what kind of beer they like.
His mouth occasionally steers him toward trouble, but not nearly as often as it should. He frequents the season-ticket holder club behind home plate, where, earlier this year, he engaged in dialogue with a stranger about the Tribe’s scuffling offense.
“They shouldn’t be called hitters,” he vented to her. “They can’t hit!”
He later learned that the woman was related to one of the Indians’ hitting coaches.
“When I stick my foot in my mouth,” he says, “I stick it all the way.” (Cleveland.com)
His body may occupy one stadium seat, but his heart fills two.
That’s because his wife, Annie, who passed away 19 years ago, used to sit right next to him. Even though she’s been gone for almost two decades, Ochmann, who sits 10 rows behind the Indians’ dugout, still buys her a ticket to all the games.
“I probably go to 60 to 65 games a year. I only use her ticket for people who are celebrating an anniversary, or they’re doing something special and they want to take their girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, whatever, to the ball game, and I will give them my tickets,” he said. “I use probably 10, maybe 15 tickets a year for someone special. The balance of the tickets go to Indians’ charity [Cleveland Indians Charities], in Annie’s name, so that way Annie is remembered every day.”
If you’d like to learn more about this couple and how attending games helps Ochmann fill a void in his heart, check out this feature article by Zack Meisel on Cleveland.com.