Showing posts with label Cleveland Indians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cleveland Indians. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Game 18: Cleveland Indians 5 @ Pittsburgh Pirates 4

We got to PNC Park around 4:15pm and did a little walking around outside it along with a stop at the Team Shop before the park officially opened. There are a few interesting statues outside including one of Roberto Clemente that has Hallowed ground from where he played in Puerto Rico and Pittsburgh.

Around 5pm they opened the center field gate and we went into the river walk part of the park. There really was not much to do besides see another piece of Forbes Field's wall (more on seeing the actual site of Forbes Field when I eventually get caught up to that). It was actually kind of weird because we were in the park, but not really because even the outfield sections where you would normally go to catch batting practice before the rest of the park opens had gates closing off every section. Finally at 5:30pm the park really opened.

To get anywhere in the park we had to go up an elevator and just ended up going straight to our seats, so Mik and I did not really explore the park, since I preferred to stay seated and not try to rush back before the game started. The seats were pretty good, especially the view of the scoreboard, which was very important for this game, since we got a scoreboard message for Mik.

Up until the bottom of the 9th inning the highlight of the game was the Pierogi race. This is almost the best race in MLB, but I still think the Nats Presidents Race is the best. The Hannah one, which I think is jalapeno won the race this time.

The Indians took a lead scoring 4 runs in the top of third with the help of three base on balls, two singles, and a triple. They added another run with a homer in the sixth. The Pirates got their first run with a lead off homer in the bottom of the 9th by Adam LaRoche. They then went on to get three more runs and get back around to Adam with 2 outs and the bases loaded. He ended up ending the inning and the game by flying to right field, but boy was it an exciting almost come back game.

I was kind of rooting for the home team Pirates, but Mik was rooting for the Indians. I guess the free hats really converted him to an Indians fan or at least that is his favorite American League team now. When we got back to the car after the game I asked him what his favorite part of his birthday was and he said the Indians winning. I really thought he would have said the mini cake at DQ or the pierogis at the park, but for once the food was not the highlight for him even though it was great.

As for PNC Park and them boasting about being the best ballpark, I do not know. I am still very partial to Wrigley as the best, but I got to give PNC credit for being a pretty good park. They definitely have very few cons with the main reason Wrigley winning out being its history and its old scoreboard charm. Pierogis sure win over giant pretzel, but barely.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Car Sticker Update: Cleveland Indians

Finding a sticker at the Cleveland Indians was easy for once. The sticker we choose is a circle one with the Indian logo in the middle. Yeah, I am behind and the window now also has a Detroit Tigers sticker, but I will hopefully get that update in a little bit after an update on the National League side.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Kj’s Baseball Collection: 2009 Interleague Play Progressive Field

Besides getting the Heritage Park baseball at Progressive Field, I also got a 2009 Interleague Play at Progressive Field commemorative baseball. The ball is silver and says 2009 Interleague Play Progressive Field on one side. On another side it lists the three Interleague match ups and the dates for them including the Brewers @ Indians, which is the Interleague match up we saw. It has also what I think is an Interleague logo of two eagles with one saying American and the other saying National.

Kj’s Baseball Collection: Heritage Park

The did have a Progressive Field ball when we went to the Indians game, but I ended up going with the Heritage Park ball, since that is part of the ballpark. The ball says Heritage Park one side. On the other side it says Where Baseball Legends Live; World Series Champions 1920 1948; American League Champions 1920, 1948, 1954, 1995, 1997. The other strip of the ball has a brick design and three different styles of Indians logos on it.

Mik’s Mini Bat Collection: Two Colored Indians

At Progressive Field Mik got a Cleveland Indians mini bat with a red handle part and a darker red top part. On the top part it says Indians and has the Indians Indian mascot logo.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Accessibility Review: Progressive Field

Parking at Progressive Field was a pain since we arrived more than 3 hours before game time. There was a sign to park next to the stadium, but the road to it was blocked off and then we found another garage nearby before realizing that there was one entrance open to the garage across from the one we ended up in. The one we ended up in was across from the basketball arena and was horrible accessibility wise. The attendant gave us vague directions about there being spaces on the first floor you come to and something about also a floor down. We got to the first floor and sure enough there were spaces, but they were all blocked off with barriers related to construction going on in the garage.

We just grabbed a non-handicap spot and dealt with it because the elevator was supposedly out according to a sign out front and we did not really want to deal with one that he said was just reopened when he obviously did not know much considering the spots he could almost see from where he was at were closed off. Anyways it worked out fine in the end, but I imagine it would have been better to have just parked right next to the park in the official parking lot. In our experience that has almost always been worth the extra money.

We got to the park right after they opened the one gate (Gate C, I think) at 4:30pm for access to a small area of the park that included Heritage Park. Near Heritage Park is a small food court area with a ramp up to it. The first obvious way up is steps, but they very clearly have signs that lead to the ramp way up. I was annoyed at the Reds for having a long way around the outfield, but this way was not annoying because it was a part you could avoid if you did not want food and even if you wanted to go up there it was very clearly accommodating unlike getting the vague directions from an usher to go way over there to a ramp. Anyways this is a nice place to get food before the rest of the park opens an hour before the game. There are a bunch of tables and they all can be wheeled up to if you just move aside a chair.

After Mik got fed we decided to check out Heritage Park. This is basically the Indians Hall of Fame. It starts a few steps down from the main concourse and then has another level below that. They have two lifts to get between the levels and the concourse. The lifts have to be operated by an usher, but we easily located a helpful usher that went and got the key to help us get between the levels. Mik and Dad did end up stuck in the second one due to it being misaligned and locking the bottom door as it descended, which causes the lift to power off. More on that incident in this post. It might have been an inconvenience, but they rather quickly fixed the problem and we give them props for being the most helpful ballpark staff we have encountered.

Our seats were located in the upper deck on the first base line in section 432. The view from the seats was good, but the bar got in the way of the line of sight due to the permanent seats that Dad and I sat in being so far back from the pole. At least Mik could avoid it by rolling up to the bar. The seating areas was still annoying for the wheelchair, though because they technically do not have any spaces for wheelchairs. The seat at the end of the row comes off this pole to make room for the wheelchair. It is an interesting feature, but the pole left on the ground gets in the way. At first we had Mik on the side of the pole. It felt like he was so far away and not really at the game with us. Sure that is a plus when Mik is being a pain in the butt, but he was actually in a good mood at the Indians game due to it ending up being his favorite ballpark because of the great food and friendly staff. I ended up being able to lift the chair a little to get the left wheel between my seat and the pole and then it seemed like normal. However, then getting him out of that spot took a little time and effort compared to just rolling in and out of the spot.

Overall Progressive Field is a good new ballpark that really did take accessibility into consideration throughout. The lifts in Heritage Park are great even though the one malfunctioned. The seating area is decent, but the added aspect of removable seats is annoying for those in wheelchairs. At least with Mik’s it could be remedied, but those in electric chairs would have to just deal with the distance from the rest of their group.

Day 29: League Park in Cleveland

On June 17, 2009, we got to Cleveland a little early, so we took the time to drive a few miles out of the way to see League Park. The parked opened in 1891 as the home of the National League Cleveland Spiders. It served as their home from 1891 through 1899 when the team was dissolved following a 20-134 record losing season. In 1901 the American League Cleveland Indians were formed and used League Park from 1901 through 1946. They played night and weekend games at the Cleveland Municipal Stadium from 1934 through 1946 before making the switch to all games at that stadium, which was shared with the football team.

Not much remains of League Park, but it was a worthy baseball historical place to visit. The ticket office building and the wall for the first base grandstand is all that is left of League Park. The interesting thing, though, is that the field is still a public park, so while the structure of the park is gone the field aspect can still easily be imagined. The grassy park area is not in that great of condition, but it is better than there just being a home plate plaque for a gone park that has a mall (Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis) or parking lot (Comiskey Park in Chicago) on top of the site now. The way it remains a grassy park makes it retain its spirit of being a ballpark despite its deteriorating state.

Most interesting about the Park is the Ohio Historical Marker plaque that tells about some of the highlight things that occurred at the park. The historical aspect of the park began with the first game in 1891 with Cy Young pitching for the Cleveland Spiders win over the Cincinnati Redlegs. In 1908 Addie Joss threw a perfect game at League Park. In 1915 the Washington Senators stole a record 8 bases in one inning at League Park. In 1920 League Park was where Bill Wambsganss executed the first and only unassisted triple play in Word Series history. Also, in that World Series game Elmer Smith hit the first World Series grand slam and Kim Bagby was the first pitcher to hit a homer in a World Series. League Park was also the site of Babe Ruth’s 500th home run in 1929 when he hit it over the right field wall. There is several more historic moments from this park on the League Park Society’s website here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Game 16: Cleveland Indians 7 @ Chicago Cubs 8

We got to Wrigley Field and found the lot we had a parking pass for around 10:30am. It was pouring rain by then and the gates did not open until 11:20am. We ended up waiting in the car until almost that time, since we were parked very close to the ticket pick up and the main entrance to Wrigley Field. Once inside we wasted time walking around the main concourse, since it was pouring rain and we were not sure if our seats were in a covered area or not. It turned out they were when we headed up there about an hour before game time.

The rain stopped around 1:15pm, which was a little before the game was supposed to start. The ground crew began to get the infield uncovered and get it all lined and ready for the game. They were ready by 2pm, but they decided to wait until 2:45pm to start the game because they thought another rain storm was coming. It was such a pointless and annoying decision because they totally could have played and just called another delay if the rain did show up. That is what they did in Cincinnati. The real annoying part is that supposed next wave of rain never came unless you count the rain that came right after we got back on the road to the apartment.

The game was worth waiting for. Game 15 at the Indians' Progressive Field was the best game of the trip at the time, but now Game 16 has topped it as the best of the trip so far. The Indians got a three run homer in the top of the second and another in the top of the third. They then got another run in the fourth to give them a 7-0 lead in the fourth inning.

The Cubs began to come back with a home run in the fifth and another in the sixth. They then got within one run by scoring four runs in the bottom of the eighth with the help of five singles and a walk. In the bottom of the ninth Derek Lee tied the game with another homer (he also hit the one in the sixth inning) and to force extra innings. They kept the Indians from scoring in the top of the tenth despite loading the bases. The Cubs then won when Theriot hit a single to bat in Soriano who had gotten on base with a walk when there was already two outs in the bottom of the tenth.