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.
Blogging about baseball stadiums is an unexplored territory. Stadiums are timeless classics rich with history, not hot new trends people flock to. They become lost on the internet and seldom talked about. When searching for blogs on ballparks, I couldn’t find current ones that I liked. So instead of pointing out bad, discontinued baseball stadium blogs, I decided to focus on wonderful blogs dealing with the larger topic of sports in general.
1. Clevelanders Have Hope
My favorite blog to look at is Waiting For Next Year. As the about section states, this blog serves as a wealth of knowledge on Cleveland sports. Being a Cleveland fan my whole life, I’m like a kid at Christmas when perusing the stories. One of the things I love the most about the blog is its name. I think Waiting For Next Year is the cleverest name a Cleveland sports blog could have. If you don’t get what I’m saying, just stop and think for a moment. When’s the last time a Cleveland sports team won a championship….oh right the Browns in 1964, it’s been 48 years!! The classic thing to say in Cleveland is “just wait ’til next year.” I know I have been waiting my whole lifetime.
While hitting the witty jackpot on the name, Waiting For Next Year is also very user friendly and updated over a dozen times a day. It is easy to navigate and the stories are usually short and concise. I enjoy the fact that it has a podcast that you can listen to. If you want to know anything about the plight of Cleveland sports fans, waiting For Next Year should be your one stop destination.
2. For You Tribe Fans
Another impressive blog to check out is Let’s Go Tribe. This blog covers all stories Cleveland Indians related. With opening day just a few weeks away, this blog is the place to go in preparation. The site has great usability with tabs clearly labeled anywhere from news stories to buying tickets. Let’s Go Tribe also has a page dedicated to other Cleveland Indian Blogs. This is a wonderful resource to use whether you are a diehard Tribe fan or just looking to check out the team’s composition for this season.
3. For Sports Nuts In General
Not a Cleveland fan, but still a sports fanatic? The last of my favorite blogs Bleacher Report is just for you. It has all the news you could imagine about sports. This blog makes it extremely easy to find the exact stories suited to your interests. Everything from NASCAR to UFC is included on the navigation bar. If you’re catching that baseball fever, just one click will get you to the page specifically for the MLB. I also, love how the website incorporates Twitter. Just below the navigation bar on the homepage are all the trending sports related topics. I bet all you Twitterers out there find that quite useful. Lastly, I think Bleacher Report has a strong identity. They know their niche and are able to thrive in that field.
These blogs are all very similar, which I think is what makes them attractive to me. Definitely check them out. You will get more than your share of sports for the day.