CLEVELAND -- Former American League Rookie of the Year Joe Charboneau is checking ID's at a Buffalo, N.Y., bar and making sure the crowd behaves, but he still thinks he'll be back in the big leagues.
Charboneau was released by the Cleveland Indians June 4 while playing for the team's AA club -- the Buffalo Bisons.
In an interview with The Plain Dealer, Charboneau said, 'I really had this dream. In it, it was released by the Indians. Then a bunch of stuff happened to me and I made it back to the majors. And this time, I really tore up.'
Charboneau is a bouncer at Cole's a few nights a week, and he is playing for a semi-pro team in Buffalo.
While with the Tribe, he made a name for himself both by his playing abilities and his antics, including drinking beer through his nose.
However, Charboneau had a series of back operations and other medical problems after a banner rookie season in 1980.
'I've hit all my life and I'll hit again,' he said. 'I think teams got scared when the Indians cut me. They figured I was too hurt to play. My back is strong. I know I'd make the big leagues if I get a chance. All I need is 10 spring games.'
'If I don't believe I'd make it back, I'd be a wreck,' he said.