In the new era of modern stadiums, Progressive Field in Cleveland was near the front of the line in terms of popularity.
There was a time in the mid-1990s when you couldn’t buy a seat at Progressive Field.
The second leg of this year’s ballpark tour took myself and a couple of friends to Cleveland. We attended the Twins-Indians game on Tuesday, Aug. 7, and there were plenty of good seats still available at first pitch. The announced attendance was around 14,000.
Unlike Comerica Park – which had plenty to look at before entering the stadium – Progressive Field is pretty tame. A Bob Feller statue sits in front of entrance outside the stadium.
The highlight inside the stadium was Heritage Park, which pays tribute to past Indians greats. There is a giant wall in honor of Feller, plus plaques of former Cleveland stars like Shoeless Joe Jackson, Cy Young and Kenny Lofton among many others. Neat area for the baseball history buff.
And a former Twins great will be honored soon too. A wall near Heritage Park alerts fans that a statue of Jim Thome is coming soon.
We sat in right field for the game, opting to go the cheap route for once on the trip. They weren’t bad seats at all. We were right next to the Twins bullpen, so it was kind of cool to glance into there from time to time to see who was warming up.
Before the game, Twins bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek actually climbed a ladder near the bullpen and sat a few rows in front of us and started talking to a family.
Like the previous Sunday’s game in Detroit, the game in Cleveland was pretty awesome. The Twins were down 5-1 in the seventh inning but scored three runs in the inning and another three in the ninth for a 7-5 victory. A ball rolled through Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis‘ legs in the seventh, which allowed two runs to score in that inning.
Indians fans weren’t in the mood for another collapse, with many having just witnessed one on TV two days earlier in Detroit. It was the 11th straight loss for Cleveland. That skid was snapped with a victory the following day.
In the immediate area outside the stadium, there wasn’t too much to do before or after the game. There’s a sports bar called Goodfeller’s (in honor of Feller). We walked a few blocks away from the stadium before the game and found a nice line of bars and shops for tourists like ourselves. I picked up a Municipal Stadium T-shirt that I couldn’t pass up.
We stopped by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame too before leaving for Pittsburgh. Lot of great music memorabilia. Kind of a bummer that you can’t take photos in there though.
Next stop, Pittsburgh.