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The excitement surrounding the tribe's win over the

Published: October 17, 1997 12:00 AM

The excitement surrounding the tribe's win over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday to clinch the American League pennant and a spot in the World Series has spilled over to local businesses that carry Indians merchandise.

"It started early this morning. As soon as we unlocked the doors people were in line waiting for us to open," Ed Waller, one of the owners of All-Pro Sports Center in Kent said Thursday. "We've been steady all day, to the point that we've had to order more merchandise."

Sports Express in Ravenna is seeing the same kind of business, with people in and out all day searching for the official ACLS locker room T-shirts _ just like those the tribe players were wearing after Wednesday's game.

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The prized shirts were slightly late in arriving to the store Thursday because the van sent to pick them up got stuck in traffic and was delayed _ along with about 300 shirts and sweatshirts, according to owner Jim Hunt.

"Everyone is anxious to get the stuff. Half of them are sold already because we're taking down names for when they come in," he said. "Everything with a Wahoo on it is on fire. It's going well."

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Steve Burrell, manager for Kmart in Kent, said that people have been coming in his store looking for the official T-shirts and other merchandise.

"They've been selling really (well). We just got them an hour ago and I know people have been looking for them all morning," Burrell said on Thursday.

All three retailers say that merchandise has been selling well throughout the season, although they've seen nothing like the recent demand.

"The Indians stuff was going well and then it kind of faded down over the summer. It was crazy in 1995 because everyone expected it, but his year it's been kind of wait and see. This year it was kind of a surprise," Hunt said.

Waller said that his business has been fairly steady throughout the season, but has picked up gradually through the playoffs.

"1995 was exciting and '96 was a little disappointing, but this year I think is more of a success with more interest because of the type of ball club this is," Waller said. "I think people have been pulling for them all along."

All of the stores are expecting more tribe merchandise in the near future.

Hunt said that his store sold out of all the new, red dugout jackets that the Indians started wearing during the playoffs and is expecting more soon. He also said his store will be selling Indians baseball caps with the World Series patch on them.

"I have 50 of them coming in next week. It'll be a collector's item," Hunt said.

Waller said his store was expecting a shipment of T-shirts Thursday night and another shipment this morning.

Vern Nickel, owner of the Dairy Queen franchise in Ravenna, said that while the sale of ice cream cakes adorned with the likeness of Chief Wahoo haven't really picked up, he feels that the Indians' success has helped area businesses.

"The cakes are popular, we've sold a few more, but it's kind of hard

because of the weather," he said. "It really does a lot for the local


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