From the Eyes of a Young Girl
Progressive Field, formerly known as Jacob’s Field will always be my favorite major league baseball stadium. Yes, I am a tad biased, but the ballpark contains many memories from my childhood. There was the time when I attended a game and received a home run ball hit by Jim Thome, from an amazing usher who works with my dad. Better yet, CC Sabathia signed that ball for me after the game. I will never forget the feeling of pure elation as CC took the ball from my tiny hands and signed it. It was a surreal experience, cementing my love for CC Sabathia. Or there was the time when that same usher took me down to the front row of the stadium, right behind the on-deck circle. Needless to say, I had the best view available!!! And then adding to my memories are the countless hotdogs consumed during dollar dog nights, the numerous bobblehead afternoons, summer night fireworks, rain delays, and opening days. There will never be a baseball stadium that replaces Cleveland’s stadium in my eyes.
We Walk to the Beat of our Own Drum
When hearing the name John Adams, most of America instantly thinks of the second president of the US. In Northeast Ohio, the name John Adams has a whole different meaning. Since 1973, John Adams, a dedicated Indians fan, has been attending practically every home Indians game. Not only does he attend every game, but he also brings along a bass drum and sits out in the bleachers playing it throughout the game. For first-time visitors to the stadium, it is always customary to point out Mr. Adams, right below the Roadrunner advertisement sign in the bleachers. Adams has now become a household name for Cleveland fans and has taken his drum to over 3,000 games. A staple of Tribe games, he was even honored with a bobblehead doll handed out at a game. Having a personal drummer is one of my favorite aspects of Progressive Field.
Have Some Fun on a Bun
All stadiums have some sort of quirky tradition. For instance, the Washington Nationals have a race of costumed characters meant to be US presidents and the Pittsburgh Pirates have a pierogi race. Progressive Field is home to the famous Sugardale Hot Dog Derby. At the end of the 5th inning, two doors in the outfield wall open and three hotdogs race around the field. The fans get involved cheering for either Ketchup, a prankster, Onion, a diva, or Mustard, an all-american boy. The race always gives the fan a nice chuckle and welcomed escape from the tension of the baseball game.
455 The Fans
I was born in 1994, the same year Jacob’s Field opened, replacing Cleveland Municipal Stadium. The new stadium breathed life into Cleveland and from June 12, 1995, through April 4, 2001, Jacob’s Field sold out 455 consecutive regular-season games. To remember the amazing sell-out streak, “455 The Fans” is printed in large red letters on a pillar behind the right field seats. This is just one of many rich historical stories of Progressive Field.
While the name of the stadium has changed to Progressive Field, it is still remembered as the Jake by many Cleveland fans. Putting the name aside, this ballpark will always be like a second home to me. There is just a comforting beauty about the field and the view of the Cleveland skyline. Whenever I spot the Bob Feller statue outside the stadium, or look up at the banners of different players, memories come rushing back. Memories of jubilation and also those of agonizing defeat.