An appropriate alternative title would have been 'Bob Feller and Omar Vizquel tower over the Key Tower'.
I took a road trip to Cleveland as part of a bucket list item to see as many baseball stadiums as possible and hopefully all of them. This past year I have been to Miller Park, Coors Field, and now Progressive Field for the first time, which combined with the Cell and Busch Stadium brings my total to 5. Miller Park is very nice and its hard to believe its already 10 years old. Coors Field wasn't bad, but something felt lacking from both. At first I thought it was a lack of DH on the field.
It turned out that something was baseball history. Progressive Field is bursting at the seams with it.
Enjoy the picture recap after the jump!
The newly erected statue of Bob Feller, who passed away December 15th, 2010.
Johnny Danks does some side session throwing.
The following are all shots of the stadium. This is obviously the scoreboard and the bleacher seats. You can see some of Cleveland's sky scrapers in the back ground and Quicken Loans Arena on the left.
Moving to the right of the bleachers, you can see an open area where some trees are planted and an Indians mural on the wall of a building behind the park. The trees are in the Indians Hall of Fame player shrine.
Now class, as we move farther to the right, you can see the entire Cleveland Indian fan base!
Left of the scoreboard now. Far away left field you can see the corner is 325 feet. The whole park was titchy and just as small as the Cell. Straight away center was 370-400 feet depending on where you looked.
Behind home plate.
They had a circle of plaques behind center field for their hall of fame players. Standing in the middle surrounded by those faces almost gave me shivers.
Plaques of interesting players. Doby was the first African-American in the American League and recieves great mention in Veeck as in Wreck.
Another big Veeck player.
Yet another Veeck guy.
I had no idea that Shoeless Joe played for the Indians until I saw this.
And of course the mighty Bob Feller.
EDIT: Lower level of the Cleveland Indians shrine.
A Bob Feller timeline painted on the wall by the lower level of the shrine. Reading it almost blew me away.
-He signed with the Indians at age 16 for $1 and an autographed ball while a farm boy from Iowa.
-He made his pro debut at age 17.
-Appeared on the front of the Time Magazine at age 18.
-Threw 3 no hitters, including the only opening day one against the White Sox.
-Had 11 one hitters, tied with Nolan Ryan. He completed the majority of his games.
-He spent all 18 years of his career with the Indians. He compiled 266 victories in that time frame, and had he not served in the military, he most likely would have over 300. However, he was extremely proud of his military service. In fact, his Chief Petty Officer rank is the highest military rank of any ballplayer in the Hall of Fame.
-He actually asked for a 20,000 paycut from 70,000 after he went 15-14. (I'm looking at you Rios.)
There will never be a player like that again.
Brian Bruney devalues someones baseball by affixing his name to it. In other autograph news, Vizquel signed my ticket. He was pretty popular there as well. One old lady was wearing a shirt with a picture of her with Vizquel on it and he signed that.
So if you are going to travel to baseball stadiums, don't go to an expansion team. Go to one of the original teams. You'll see more than just a baseball game there.
BOOM BOOM BOOM-BOOM-BOOM!