Recap Of The Cleveland/Progressive Field Visit

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.

Progressive Field in Cleveland

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.

Heritage Park with a wall letting fans know that a Jim Thome statue is coming soon.

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.

5 Responses

  1. Brian

    I have enjoyed reading about the ballpark tour. Seven years ago, I lived in Columbus, OH for a summer. A major part of wanting to get out there was the proximity to so many ballparks. I hit up the following that summer:

    Comerica Park – three games over a weekend series against the Twins
    Progressive Field – Still Jacobs Field at the time – three games, including Travis Hafner bobblehead day for one of the games
    PNC Park, Pittsburgh – two games including a July 4th game against the Phillies
    Great American Ballpark – Cincinnati
    RFK Stadium – Washington, DC
    Citizens Bank Park – Philadelphia
    Miller Park – Milwaukee
    Wrigley Field – Chicago
    Busch Stadium – St. Louis
    Kauffman Stadium – Kansas City – afternoon tilt against the Twins

    It was such a drag watching baseball in the Dome after watching baseball outside all summer. Such an awesome summer though, will never forget it.

    Glad you were able to hit up four different stadiums on your trip!

    1. Brian

      Yeah for sure, many within a couple hours drive. By far my favorite was PNC in Pittsburgh. Just as you described, great ballpark and incredible view. I also enjoyed Detroit and Philly’s stadiums as well. Of course Wrigley is in a class of its own.

  2. I was kind of let down by Progressive Field. Heritage Park was nice, but for a team with so much history, you would think there would be more touches spread throughout the park. Even the retired numbers seemed to just be painted on the walls and were easily overlooked. I didn’t notice them until half way through the game and we were sitting in the lower deck on the third base line right across the field from them.

    While in Cleveland, we did stop by what remains of League Park. The ticket booth is still standing and is in rough shape. The foul poles are still there as well so you can stand where home plate used to be and take a look at the odd dimensions of the park (deep left field, short right field). We also visited Lake View Cemetery to visit the final resting places of Ray Chapman and President Garfield. Garfield is interred in a mausoleum which looks like a castle. The balcony of the mausoleum gave us a great view of the Cleveland skyline.

  3. League Park was on our radar on the trip but we didn’t get there. I read a story online earlier this year that there is work being done on it this summer to revamp the historic park. Should be cool when it’s done.

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