CSU alumnus and Cleveland legend John Adams passes away

John Adams, CSU alumnus and Cleveland baseball drummer, passed away on Jan. 30 at the age of 71.

Adams, a disciple of his drum, filled so many memories for Clevelanders at Cleveland Municipal Stadium and The Jake (Progressive Field) when watching the Tribe.

Adams first drummed alongside the Tribe in 1978. Over 50 seasons and 3,000+ games later, he was inducted into the Guardians’ Hall of Fame in August of 2022.

“As a Cleveland kid, you didn’t realize it wasn’t standard to have distant drumming at baseball games. You just went and expected it. Because he was always there. We were spoiled with him,” Megan Gallagher, WKYC Producer, said in a tweet.

Wally Morton, former CSU Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving head coach, certified Adams as an Adapted Swim Instructor. And before falling ill, Adams also taught aquatics classes for students with disabilities at CSU since 1978.

“[Teaching aquatics classes] often meant he would be late for the games on that night. He always said, ‘those in need come first,’” Morton shared on Twitter.

“I march to the beat of my own drum, and I think the spirit of Cleveland is the same,” Adams told the Cleveland Magazine in 2005. “We create. We don’t copy.”

Adams will always be “the heartbeat of Cleveland baseball games.”