CLEVELAND — Tom Hanks will help launch a new era of Cleveland baseball.
The Oscar-winning actor will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Guardians' home opener against the San Francisco Giants on April 15. It will be Cleveland's first home game since dropping Indians, the team's name since 1915.
Hanks, who famously said “There is no crying in baseball” while portraying the manager of an all-female team in “A League of Their Own,” has backed Cleveland's major league team since the late 1970s, when he was an intern in the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival before going to Hollywood.
"I’ve had Guardians fever since 1977 when I caught my first game in Section 19 of Cleveland’s Lakefront Municipal Stadium,” Hanks said. “I’m honored to return to Cleveland and Progressive Field for the first home game of the Cleveland Guardians era.”
When the team made its name change in July, Hanks was the narrator for a video to announce the switch to Guardians.
Hanks won consecutive Academy Awards for best actor for roles in “Philadelphia” and “Forrest Gump.”