Thurman Munson Memorial Stadium recalled by Chad Ogea, Charles Nagy

CANTON — On their way to pitching in some of the biggest games in Cleveland baseball history, Chad Ogea and Charles Nagy warmed up in Canton.

They smile when they hear Thurman Munson Memorial Stadium is enjoying a new day in the sun amid a $5 million renovation.

“I knew when I got there it was named after Thurman Munson, and I knew why,” Ogea says 30 years after his stop in Canton. “The stadium looked like an erector set outside. Inside it was my kind of setting, a quaint place with the fans very close to you. It gave you the feeling of stepping back in time.”

Ogea, 51, lives in Louisiana, where he has spent most of his life, including when he pitched for powerhouse LSU teams. He and his wife, Anne, operate a landscaping business in his home state.

Former pitcher Chad Ogea throws out a ceremonial first pitch before Cleveland's home game against the Chicago White Sox, Sept.  7, 2014.

Ogea likely would have been MVP of the 1997 World Series had Cleveland hung on to a ninth-inning lead in Game 7. He was the winning pitcher in Games 2 and 6 against Florida, posting a 1.54 earned run average. The biggest hit in Cleveland’s Game 6 win was Ogea’s bases-loaded single.

Ogea’s first year as a pro was 1992, which he began at Class A Kinston before a promotion to Class AA Canton-Akron. His combined record, 19-4, was the talk of the organization. His first start for Canton was at Binghamton, which happened to have been Munson’s first pro team out of Kent State.

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