Cleveland was Cool
Trip Start Apr 02, 2011
46Trip End Sep 29, 2011
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Where I stayed
My Buddie Skip's House in Chicago
Went down and Henry was going to cook eggs. Great. I told him I had a problem in the shower and what happened. He wasn't worried...looked at it and said he could fix it easily. I would have called a plumber. Some of you know how I am with tools. If I tried, I would hurt myself and other people too. Interestingly, by the time I got to Cleveland, Henry had sent me a message and a pic that he already had it replaced. Henry is an amazing guy. and a great friend.
After breakfast and good-byes, I headed to Cleveland. A short 2.5 hour drive. I drove by the ballpark and on to a little hole in the wall called Melt Bar & Grill which specializes in grilled cheese sandwiches. Both Triple D and MvF have filmed there. Had a bloody mary (hey it was only 11:00 am there, but it was Noon somewhere) and a bacon grilled cheese. Outstanding. But even better was the cole slaw. It was a sweet vinegar dressing, but spiced pretty heavily with onion...what a great and tasty combination. Nice people too. They all seemed interested in my adventure.
Then I was off to the game. It was strange because there were no huge crowds like Cincy. Maybe because the Indians are not that good, or maybe because it was 45 degrees and rain was predicted. I parked a block away from the park in a covered garage for $10, and walked to the park. The park is called Progressive Field...used to be Jacobs Field (or as locals say, "The Jake" after the Indians former owners, Richard and David Jacobs). Went to the ticket windows and talked to a nice man named Bob about a ticket. Told him I wanted lower deck to keep out of any wind. He said I've got a great seat for you...$35 and it's 5 rows behind the visitor's dugout...I bought the ticket and Bob and I talked for 10 minutes...no one else was in line.
Security made me turn on my iPad...like airport screening. Whatever... They were very nice about it and we also talked for a few minutes...not many people coming in. And that's what I noticed first off...there was hardly anyone there, and it was 30 minutes before game time. Later I learned I was part of a Cleveland record low attendance for Progressive Field...8726. That's after having 455 straight sellouts in mid-1990's.
The park is beautiful. It was built in 1994 as one of the new "era" parks that were built to be "ballparks rather than stadiums." It's very similar to Great American in Cincy, both in dimensions and look and feel.
The seat was everything it was advertised to be and more. The more was less...no one sitting beside me or in front of me...and on the end of the row. Bob the ticket man took care of me! Had some nice Indian fans behind me...we talked the whole game. As you can imagine, there were a lot of White Sox fans around us too.
We got some drizzle and sprinkles during the game, but nothing the old ISU jacket couldn't handle...heck, that jacket marched in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1997 and all it did was rain on the ISU Marching Band...until 10 minutes before they got to Harold Square as the Santa Band...when the sun came out...it never rains on Santa!
Sox got a run in the 3rd, and fans got down again (the Indians hadn't won a game yet), and had given up 27 runs in the first two games. Then one thing happened that changed the entire game. Something you don't see very often in baseball games. It was the top of the fourth, and the Sox had the first two men on base (first and second...no one out). The batter squared to bunt and hit a dinky bloop haflway between home and first...and the first baseman dove all out and caught the ball on the fly (one out). Well, the White Sox runners had been off and running with the bunt. And they were standing on second and third. The Indians first baseman threw the ball to the second baseman who was standing on first base (two outs), and after some hesitation (or prompting from the crowd and dugout), he threw the ball to the shortstop who was standing on second base for a triple play!!! I can't tell you how rare triple plays are!!!! But I later learned the White Sox had not been involved in one for 30 years!!! And I saw it all live sitting (or standing some of the time) 5 rows behind the visitor's dugout! Now that's a memory that is priceless! In fact, I may have just given MasterCard a new commercial.
Seat behind the dugout - $35
Coors Light - $7.75
Witnessing a triple play - Priceless
The Indians went on to score 2 runs in the 6th, 2 in the 7th and 3 in the 8th for a 7-1 win.
I am now officially 2-0 for the home team! That's what I've decided to do on these trips to all the parks...root for the home team...unless they're playing my Cubs!
Next up, a 5 hour drive to Chicago which was uneventful. Had to stop in South Suburban Chicago for some sliders at White Castle...I can't go there when I'm with Sandy...she hates 'em.
Got to my buddie Skip's house in Hinsdale about 8:00 pm. Skip told me how to get it. He got there about half hour later. Gave me time to write some in the blog.
Tomorrow Wrigley Field. I got two free bleacher tickets from the Cubs for trying out to become their new PA announcer. Yea, me and 2,954 other people. I didn't get it, but I got two free bleacher tickets for a cold day in Chicago...ah, but it's baseball and I love it!
More after the Cubs game!