Across the room, Joe Azcue, Jim Perry and "Sudden" Sam McDowell were studying the leaderboard at the British Open on TV as Minnie Minoso shared a few laughs with Juan Gonzalez.
"Look at all these guys in here," said Indians shortstop Omar Vizquel. "This is awesome."
As part of their season-long, 100-year anniversary celebration, the Cleveland Indians honored their Top 100 greatest players on Saturday, flooding Jacobs Field with memories for their fans, bringing together 91-year-old Mel Harder and Sabathia, who turned 21 Saturday, while making baseball cards seemingly come to life.
During pregame ceremonies before Saturday's game against Detroit, 38 members of the Indians' Top 100 players were introduced. After a brief bio was read on each of the players _ dressed in replica jerseys from their days in Cleveland _ they took their positions in all corners of Jacobs Field.
Center fielder Kenny Lofton was the first out of the dugout followed by current players Jim Thome, Vizquel, Roberto Alomar, Travis Fryman and Charles Nagy, who warmed up in the bullpen and then went out and beat the Tigers, 8-4.
Each of the stars got a nice ovation, but nothing like the ones reserved for pitchers Orel Hershiser and Herb Score as well as outfielder Rocky Colavito, perhaps the most popular player in Cleveland history.
Colavito, 67, was the toast of the town in the late 1950s before he was traded on the eve of opening day in 1960 to Detroit for Harvey Kuenn.
The trade is still viewed as one of the worst in franchise history and there are some who think it has cursed the Indians and kept them from winning a World Series since 1948.
However, all that was forgotten on Saturday as "The Rock" jogged to his spot in right field to thunderous applause.
"Going out there was special," Colavito said. "It's been a lifelong love affair with the fans here. I absolutely loved every second in Cleveland. The fans in Detroit were great, but Cleveland is just so special.
"It was an honor to play here."
Hershiser played just three years with the Indians (1995-97), but during his tenure the club got back to its first Series since 1954, and the right-hander endeared himself to Cleveland fans for his tenacity on the mound and professionalism off it.
"For the fans to react the way they did was very nice," said Hershiser, who went 4-1 in the postseason for Cleveland. "We had a very special three years here."
Score's promising playing career was never the same after he was struck in the eye by a line drive, but he became wildly popular in Cleveland as a broadcaster for 34 years.
As current and former Indians mixed in the clubhouse a few feet away, Fryman said he sensed something special from the moment he arrived at the ballpark.
"This is what it's all about," Fryman said as he watched Tiant give Bartolo Colon, Danys Baez and Ricardo Rincon some pitching tips. "The best part of today is that it renews your enthusiasm about the game. We sometimes get caught up in the money and the mundane things about baseball.
"And this is the kind of thing that makes you appreciate the game even more."
Two Cleveland Hall of Famers _ Larry Doby and Lou Boudreau _ were unable to attend.
Doby, the first black player in AL history, lost his wife, Helyn, to cancer earlier this week of cancer. Boudreau, the shortstop/manager of the '48 Series champions, was hospitalized in Illinois with circulatory problems.
Their absences were the only sour notes on an otherwise special day for fans and players in both dugouts.
"That pregame ceremony was special," said Detroit catcher Robert Fick. "I got a kick out of it, except seeing Orel representing the Indians. I was a huge Dodgers fan, and he was my man."