Wednesday, July 17, 2013

FIELDS OF DREAMS - Progressive Park, Cleveland, Ohio

Fomerly know as "The Jake" - Jacobs Field - this stadium is home to the Indians.  The team has been in business for over 110 years and took the World Series in 1920 and 1948.  Since then, they've mostly been known as a hard-luck team, even a joke sometimes (see the great baseball comedy Major League for a good example). 

They did have a good run in the mid 1990's when they had players like a young Manny Ramirez on the team.  In 1995, they were the American League representative to the World Series but lost to the Braves. 

They returned in 1997 to face the Marlins and were two outs away from taking it, but closer Jose Mesa blew the save and the Indians lost game seven in the 11th inning.  This was a great series that we got to watch from a beachside bar in Puerto Vallarta...ahh, good times (see below)!  We had fun with you, Marlin Bob.

As of this update...June, 2013...the Indians are again in the hunt, only a game or two behind the Tigers in the Central Division.

Progressive Field replaced Cleveland Stadium, which had been literally falling apart, in 1994.  It was initially named after the team's owner, Rich Jacobs.  In the midst of one of the team's greatest eras, the stadium sold out 455 consecutive games over a five year period.  Here are the stats:

Opened: 1994
Surface: Kentucky Bluegrass
Construction cost: $175 million
Capacity: 45,199
Field dimensions: Left field - 325 feet; left center - 370 feet; Center field - 405 feet; right center - 375 feet; Right field - 325 feet
Home team: Cleveland Indians (American League, MLB) 1994 - present
Events attended: None, but took a tour.

In 2000, lawyer Larry Dolan bought the team.  With the Jacobs regime gone, there was no need to keep the name.  Naming rights were sold to Progressive Insurance in 2008.

Wheelchair locations abound throughout the stadium.  Also available are swivel seats to transfer into and aisle chairs with swing-away armrests.  Wheelchair and companion seats are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.  Ticket prices are dynamic...meaning whatever the market will bear putting the team in a position of scalper.  As of this writing, that means around $10 - $96.

Public transportation is available from the RTA which runs buses and trolleys to the stadium with a covered walkway available on game days from the nearest trolley station.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to see a game there when we were in Cleveland.  The Indians were in Anaheim at the time, taking on our home team, the Angels, so we can't speak to the game experience here but it sure looks like a nice place to see a baseball game.

Copyright 2011 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

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