The Cleveland Indians loved the sight of 35-year-old Edwin Encarnacion chugging around the bases on his way to a standup inside-the-park home run.
I knew he had wheels, but … starter Mike Clevinger said with a laugh. You see something new every day.
I was too tired, he said. I just see the ball and when the ball go away from Upton, I said in my mind, `I’ve got to make it to the plate.’ It was a lot of running. But I like it. It’s good.
The most recent inside-the-park homer by the Indians was Naquin’s remarkable game-ending hit on Aug. 19, 2016, against Toronto.
That’s a lot of praise for Edwin, Naquin said. That man’s hit a lot of homers. It’s not easy to get an inside-the-park home run, so that obviously says Eddie’s running hard. He plays the game the right way and he showed up. You’re either going to have a triple or a homer in the books. Doesn’t matter how you get it.
Encarnacion was welcomed back to the dugout with high-fives and a teammate fanning him off with a towel.
Napoleon McCallum, a former Raiders running back and now the director of community development for Las Vegas Sands Corp., was sitting between the parties. As a fan of both sides of the table, McCallum made this meeting happen.
The Las Vegas side of the table was excited, though skeptical of the Raiders’ intentions. Prominent UNLV official Don Snyder, who had spent the past year as the school’s president, was in the room. Snyder has had a hand in some of Las Vegas’ most ambitious projects such as the downtown Fremont Experience and, more recently, the $470 million Smith Center for Performing Arts. He’s well-connected in town. This meeting was the first he was learning of interest from the Raiders. Everyone hoped this was the beginning of something special, but it was early in the game.
At the time, the Raiders’ focus remained on Los Angeles or finding a way to stay in Oakland. Davis didn’t want any news of the meeting at UNLV to damage those discussions. There were many other suitors, too. San Antonio was interested; so was Sacramento. Casual inquiries came from Calgary and Mexico. Among the primary candidates, Las Vegas was the long-shot bachelorette with a history of gambling.
At the other end of the table, across from Davis, was Bo Bernhard, executive director of the International Gaming Institute. A former captain of the Harvard baseball team, Bernhard is forward-thinking, humble, witty and a leading authority on gambling.