Our second-to-last stop on this grand baseball trip was at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. We had purchased our tickets ahead of time from the Indians’ website because it was Major League Monday complete with a Rick Vaughn bobblehead giveaway. As it turns out, our good planning was unnecessary as there were plenty of good seats available at the box office on the night of the game. (We are used to the promotion nights at Dodger Stadium where riots break out when there are stadium giveaways.)
We were treated to a pretty good interleague game between the Indians and the visiting Milwaukee Brewers, but our baseball experience began with a tour of Progressive Field. We walked over to the stadium from our hotel (thank you, Priceline for booking us at the Residence Inn one block from the stadium) and enjoyed a walking tour of what used to be one of the busiest ballparks in the Majors. From 1995 to 2001, the Indians sold out 455 consecutive games, the Major League record at the time. They have commemorated this streak by hanging this number with their retired jersey numbers in right field. Boston’s Fenway faithful have since surpassed this mark, but it’s a nice touch for a city which saw great baseball success in the late 1990s.
Quicken Loans Arena – the home of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers – sits right next to Progressive Field, but I was very disappointed that we didn’t run into to Lebron James while we were out and about. As a consolation, we were greeted by a 100-foot by 150-foot (approximately) poster of King James on the side of one of the surrounding buildings. He was, of course, blowing some chalk in the air before a game. If the Cavs had made the Finals, game 5 of would have taken place while we were there.
Nonetheless, we were treated to a great baseball atmosphere on Major League Monday. We received our Rick Vaughn bobbleheads (Chiquita even got one) and had plenty of time to check out the park before the game. We are pretty convinced that it was no coincidence that the Brewers were in town on Major League Monday. Bob Uecker is a broadcaster for the Brewers and he threw out the first pitch. Throughout the game, we were treated to clips from the movie as well as behind the scenes trivia from the classic baseball flick.
Once again we found ourselves fraternizing with fellow baseball fans. We ditched our assigned seats and eventually found some handicap seating behind home plate on the upper deck. We ended up sitting near a man and his teenage daughter who had just had surgery on a labrum in her shoulder. We would not have thought twice about this except that Nicole’s dad had just had a similar surgery. I felt bad for her as she tried to eat her awesome stadium dinner with her good arm. At one point she kicked over her soda and I was very sad because it was Mountain Dew.
Anyways, the baseball game ended up being very entertaining. The Brewers won the slugfest by the score of 14-12 and, as you might image, the game was not short on home runs. Prince Fielder provided the most excitement with a line drive grand slam that put the Brewers ahead. Our final treat was a fireworks show after the game.
Our experience in Cleveland was fantastic – here are the pictures from the tour…
And the game…