The Cleveland Guardians released a statement Monday to mourn the passing of John Adams, team superfan who pounded on a big bass drum from the top of the bleachers at nearly every home game for 48 years.
Adams was 71.
"For nearly five decades, the beat of John's drum was the heartbeat of baseball here in Cleveland," Guardians senior vice president of public affairs Bob DiBiasio said in a statement. "We are all saddened by John's passing. His dedication, commitment and passion for our franchise, at both Cleveland Stadium and Progressive Field, was unmatched. John will forever remain a member of our team."
Adams banged on the drum for more than 3,500 home games, missing just 45 until he fell ill. The Guardians presented Adams with a life-sized drum made out of bronze last Aug. 24 to commemorate the anniversary of his first game in Cleveland's old Municipal Stadium in 1973.
The drum, which Adams bought for $25 at a garage sale in 1973, is permanently showcased at the team's Heritage Park area at Progressive Field on bleachers that were removed from left field.
The team also named Adams the 12th member of Cleveland's Distinguished Hall of Fame and mounted a plaque next to his seat above the top row of the left-field bleachers, Adams' perch for nearly five decades.
Adams underwent triple bypass surgery and battled thyroid problems among myriad health issues and complications in recent years.
--Field Level Media