Journal Regulars columnist Jim Wharton of Sioux City takes you along on a 14-day bus trip to 10 different Major League Baseball stadiums and games this month.
June 22 Cleveland, Ohio
Nine down and one to go. All that is left is a trip Tuesday to Wrigley. Great way to end a long, long road trip.
Tonight we were at “The Jake” in Cleveland. Jacobs Field replaced old Memorial Stadium – or as locals used to call it “The Mistake by the Lake." Back in the early days of Jacobs Field, tickets were hard to get. Today the park is called Progressive Field and the locals are second from the bottom in attendance in Major League Baseball. I’m not sure why.
The stadium is beautiful and the Indians, while falling to .500 with the loss to the Tigers tonight, have some great young talent. They got thumped tonight. Yoenis Cespedes was hitting laser shots all night long. This game also served as a reminder as to why I prefer National League baseball over the American League. There must have been nine to 10 pitching changes tonight. Long and boring.
MY FAVORITE THINGS
Absolutely the nicest customer service people I’ve met on the trip. A big shout out to Jeremy in the Indians Team Store. Jeremy was informed I was writing a baseball trip blog for the Journal and he very kindly allowed consultant Mark, Deb and I early access to the stadium for some nice photo opportunities. NOTE TO INDIANS FRONT OFFICE: Jeremy deserves a raise. He did a great job of representing Cleveland Indians baseball.
As to the chow, I saw a few things I have never seen before. For example, grilled cheese sandwiches. Or how about a hot dog on a bun with three pierogi wrapped around the dog? Huh?
Another highlight was the exhibit the Indians set up this year of Bob Feller memorabilia. When the city of Van Meter, Iowa, couldn’t keep their little Feller museum opened, the Indians stepped up and made a permanent display of Rapid Robert’s baseball and military career on the terrace level of the stadium. Every baseball fan should know the story of Bob Feller.
A SUGGESTION OR TWO FOR THE INDIANS
There is way too much traffic in the aisles during the game. Most of the stadiums we visited have an usher stop traffic during an at-bat. At the end of the at-bat, he lets them move to their seat. We spent a lot of time craning our necks to see the action.
Nothing to recognize veterans tonight. How about honoring a local vet at each game. It’s the right thing to do.
Jack up the music. The Cleveland crowd never got into the game.
That’s it for today. One more blog and we will call it quits. We will come to you tomorrow from Wrigley Field.
Thanks for reading Extra Innings: Baseball by Bus. Good night from Cleveland.