Sunday, October 09, 2011

Postcard tour: Cleveland, from 'The Mistake' to the Jake

It doesn't have the retro charm of Camden Yards, the spectacular views of PNC Park or the iconic bay blasts of AT&T Park's McCovey Cove.

But Progressive Field in Cleveland is a wonderful place to see a ballgame. Cleveland residents must be pretty proud of it, too, based on the number of postcards I've found when visiting the city.

I've seen a number of games at Progressive, or it's original and better name, Jacobs Field. And one pretty exciting event – the 1997 All-Star Game Home Run Derby, celebrity softball game and workout, all packaged together for one very affordable $25 ticket.

The Mets have done well at Progressive, too. The team took two of three games in 2002, with Al Leiter and Steve Trachsel taking the victories and Shawn Estes getting beat.

Inter-league play brought the Mets to Cleveland again in 2010, with a glorious sweep with Johan Santana, Jon Neise and R.A. Dickey earning the wins.

Andrew and I visited in 2008 for a weekend visit that included lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, dinner on “The Flats,” a day spent at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – and even paying respects to President Garfield.

This card is pretty clever with the city name written as if it is part of the lights on the park.

This one is kind of arty – a little too arty for baseball.

I've never found another like this “I was there,” card, with the back leaving a place to write some of the game's details.

This team-issued card is pretty basic, but has all kinds of ballpark facts on the back.

Jacobs Field replaced a storied ballpark, but Cleveland Municipal Stadium was famous not for great games but for its vast size – and tremendous numbers of empty seats in Indians' decades of futility.

Rich, Mark and I made “The Mistake by the Lake” the last stop of our epic 1989 ballpark tour. I wandered off and spent part of the game in the distant outfield with John Adams, a super fan famous for banging a massive drum during Indians rallies.

It was an old park with plenty of charm, like Tiger Stadium – none of which can be found in the one postcard I've been able to find of the ballpark.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm a proud Clevelander and even I wouldn't describe old Municipal Stadium as "storied" or "plenty of charm"! It seemed big, cold, empty, and lacking any personality. But thanks anyways. scott.