Baseball: Nick Swisher ecstatic to join Cleveland Indians

TOM WITHERS AP Sports Writer Published:

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Nick Swisher's smile was broader and brighter than the Chief Wahoo logo on his new cap.

He was back in Ohio, back at home, back where it all started.

"This is the place for me to be," he said. "All roads led to Cleveland."

Swisher, who spent the past four seasons wearing Yankees pinstripes, was introduced Thursday by the Indians, who managed to land the free-agent outfielder by playing to his deep Buckeye roots and giving him a four-year, $56 million contract that includes a vesting option for a fifth year.

Not long after passing a physical and signing the richest free-agent deal in Indians history, Swisher was handed a new No. 33 jersey.

He might wear it to bed.

From the moment he walked into the media room at Progressive Field with a large group of family and friends, Swisher couldn't stop smiling and laughing.

"I can't help it, man," he said, shaking his head. "This is unbelievable. I never in a million years thought I would be in this position. As a little kid you dream about playing in the big leagues, but I don't know if I ever dreamed about being in a situation like this. It's an amazing time for my family and I."

The 32-year-old Swisher, who was born in Columbus and attended Ohio State, didn't try to hide his enthusiasm in joining the Indians, who convinced him that he could help their lineup and maybe get them back to the days when they were contending for AL Central titles on a yearly basis.

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