Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio is a special place. For some people, it’s a home away from home. For some, it’s a pleasant arena for distraction from the everyday grind. And for others, it will simply “always be the Jake.”
In it you will find the notable fan favorites; Slider, the Sugardale Hot Dogs, Gabriella Kreuz, Andre Knott, the “Beer Guy”, and of course John Adams and his drum. But if you’ve been to the ballpark over the past several years you will notice there’s a new face in town. Someone who makes themselves known in-between each inning on the Jumbotron. Someone whose face everybody knows but can’t think of their name. Someone who humbly stands up in section 171 and dances their heart out for whoever’s watching. Not to get famous or get on the big screen, but just to make everyone around him feel better and happier about being at an Indians game. I think we all know who I’m talking about…
His name is David Delfel, and you may know him as the “Dancing Parrot Kid” Every game that I’ve been to in the past 3-4 years I have seen David dancing his ass off in-between innings, and he without a doubt puts a smile on the faces of everyone who sees him. Last night I was watching the Tribe’s double-header against the Braves and, like I have on countless occasions, saw David on TV doing his thing. I couldn’t help but think, “so many people know and love this kid, he deserves to be recognized for his devotion!”
SO, I reached out on Twitter and used my newly found resources at BIGPLAY (aka McNeil or “Reflog_18”) and the beautiful people on Cleveland twitter to see if anyone could help me find David. Sure enough, within 10 minutes somebody gave me his name and twitter account. I reached out to David to see if he would be willing to do a short interview and allow me to write an article about his fandom, to which he was more than happy to be part of.
So, meet David, a teenager from Amherst, Ohio (Formerly Parma) who has been an Indians fan since birth. When asked about where he gets his love and enthusiasm for Cleveland and its Indians, he responded, “I get my enthusiasm for the team from all of the fans around me. I basically think, these people have so much love, energy, and enthusiasm, so I should share their enthusiasm and love! I suppose I also do it for when the fans have a bad game and need some good old fashion entertainment.”
He went on to say, “I also owe the announcers on STO, and Hammy & Rosy, because they have always been enthusiastic themselves, and we are so lucky to have such great announcers!” I mean, how can you not have a giant smile on your face after hearing that?! Being a die-hard Indians fan myself, everything that David expressed to me about his fandom rung a bell within my own heart about how I feel about the Tribe. He just manifests it with the best of em!
I asked David about the Parrot that he used to wear when dancing and why he no longer wears it. He said, “The Parrot is 100% because of Edwin Encarnacion and I think I put Eddie (the parrot) on my jersey around October 2017.” He went on to say, “I was really, really sad when he left, but I do know I will be able to see him when we play him (at home) next, so I’m not too sad.”
David and I spoke more on where his dancing persona came from and why he does it every game. He said, “The dancing persona really began in school, 8th grade, roughly 3 years ago. My elementary teacher played some music and I just got up and danced. After that, I did it at Monster’s games and then went on to do it here (Progressive Field). Soon after, I adopted the Edwin parrot and became the Dancing Parrot Kid, haha!”
David, former Indians season ticket holder, recalled his first and favorite Indians memory, which is not far from my own. He mentioned, “I think it was sitting with my mother in 2005 or 2006, I remember a home run ball flying over the fence at Jacobs Fields…it may have been a grandslam, (either way) it was awesome.”
It’s funny being able to speak with other Indians fans, and though in a world where people feel so divided, we can share very similar stories as to how we came about loving the game of baseball.
I really enjoyed being able to speak with David, and to put a face to the years of my own personal fandom towards David’s dancing. When wrapping up our interview I asked him, “Your spirit and enthusiasm is something Cleveland fans love and admire. Do you have anything you want to say to Indians fans out there?” To which he responded, “Honestly, if I had anything to say to Tribe fans, it’s that you guys are the best fans in the world, and the Tribe is lucky to have fans like you! Never change.”
Hell yes David. Hell. Yes.
David, and the aforementioned super-fans and fan favorites, are some of the reasons why Cleveland Indians fans are some of the best in the world. Not only because of their passion and love, but because of their commitment to continue show up, day in and day out, and root our Tribe to victory everyday.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Give David a follow on Twitter, @DelfelDavid, or his dancing persona twitter account, @Parrotkid and show the kid some love because dammit does he deserve it.
Sit back, have a beer, and enjoy some Indians baseball.
Cheers friends, Jiggy