UH kids lobby Tribe to 'Let Cooper In'

University Heights kids with Cooper, the city's brand ambassador.

The kids of University Heights are making their voices heard. Will the Cleveland Indians listen?

Cooper the Chicken, the city’s brand ambassador (please don’t call him a mascot), usually spends his summer at concerts in the park, at parades, at the pool, and even at lemonade stands.

The cornonavirus pandemic ended all of the activities Cooper loves so much. So, when the Cleveland Indians announced its cardboard-fan-cutout program, University Heights employees chipped in $100 so that Cooper could be represented at the baseball games.

Unfortunately, the Tribe responded to the city’s request by saying it was “only printing cutouts of the human variety at this time.”

Seeing an opening in the “at this time” language, a Change.org petition was launched on Aug. 5, asking the Indians to reconsider and “Let Cooper In.”

The city has created a 60-second campaign commercial, featuring Cooper and kids in University Heights.

“University Heights, the time is now,” insists the announcer in the commercial. “Cooper needs to be at the games, representing all of us fans here in University Heights.”

The Indians and the city of University Heights have a proud tradition of working together. When Josephine Morhard created the first-ever youth baseball league in 1937, right here in University Heights, the Cleveland Indians provided uniforms and other assistance. Indians pitcher Mel Harder, a University Heights resident, was active with the league.

The commercial depicts Cooper’s room, which features a copy of the book Mrs. Morhard and the Boys, and a photo of Harder. Cooper’s nightstand displays a photo of him with his friend Gabriella Kreuz, the in-game host for the Indians. Other Indians memorabilia includes a chair from Cleveland Municipal Stadium, a Jim Thome bobblehead, and autographed photos of Rocky Colavito, Sandy Alomar, Tito Francona, Bob Feller and Lou Boudreau.

The commercial is posted on the University Heights Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts.

Mike Cook

Mike Cook is the communications and civic engagement coordinator for University Heights.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 7:54 AM, 09.01.2020