A lifetime Cleveland Indians fan and Juno Beach resident injured herself in a nearly deadly accident, forcing her to miss a game in 1966, had her tickets honored by the baseball team recently.
“Dear Student,” the jointly signed letter from the Press Sports Editor, Regis McAuley and Gabe Paul, the president of the Cleveland Indians reads.
“Congratulations on your straight A report card.”
In 1966, she was known as Jennifer Annis. She was 11 going on 12-years-old.
Her excellence in school earned her the chance to see her favorite team, the Indians, in person. She wrote to the Press, a local paper, as she did the year prior for tickets.
The game was scheduled for Aug. 20 that year. She wouldn’t be able to go.
The day was Aug. 13, 1966.
“Today is my anniversary. It’s 52 years,” Jennifer Wells, as she goes by now post marriage, said in an interview in Juno Beach.
She lived in Cleveland at the time and was riding her bike to her friend’s house, which was on the other side of the railroad tracks.
“I don’t remember anything about the day,” she said.
She was hit by a train, thrown 23 feet. She broke many bones and lost most of her hearing. She would never make it to the Aug. 20 game, Indians vs. White Sox.
But her spirit would outlast. In July earlier this year, she was back in Cleveland and decided to see if her old baseball tickets would work.
“(The security guard) said 'old tickets?’ And I said, 'yeah.' He said, go to the box office.”
Fifty-two years later, they worked. The Cleveland Indians honored them. She went with her aunt and cousin.
“There were so many Cleveland Indian fans there!” she recalled.
A day that’s blank in her memory comes full circle with a day filled with moments she won't soon forget.
“Closure I guess, with getting this done. It’s on my bucket list,” she said. “I’ve had a lot happen in my life and this has been the best year of my life.”
The game this year was against the Oakland A’s. The Indians lost, but she had a blast still.
Her hearing is the best it has been really since the accident. She has a cochlear implant in one ear and a hearing aid in the other.
Those original tickets cost $2.50.