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Shuck's hometown friends in Cleveland crowd

Shuck's hometown friends in Cleveland crowd

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Shuck's hometown friends in Cleveland crowd

CLEVELAND -- J.B. Shuck's hometown of Galion, Ohio, is a little more than an hour drive south from Progressive Field and is made up of only about 10,000 people.

This weekend, many of them are taking up the left-field seats at the Indians' ballpark.

For the first time in his career, the 26-year-old Shuck is playing a Major League game close to home. He got tickets for about 20 of his close family and friends, but said "a ton" of others found a way to make it out, sitting in the stands that reside behind the position Shuck just so happens to play.

They're seeing Shuck as he makes an outside case for the American League Rookie of the Year Award, ranking first among AL rookies in hits (79), doubles (14) and triples (three), second in runs (36), third in total bases (102), and fourth in batting average (.289) and on-base percentage (.333) entering Saturday's game.

"Being from a small town," Shuck said, "it's great to have the support from all the people and know that there's a big community like that that's kind of behind you."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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