The Cleveland Indians welcome the All-Star Game back to downtown Cleveland in 2019. Here are a few other games at Progressive Field to put on your calendar this year.
It began along the Lake Erie shore for many Tribe fans — inside a cavernous space that could hold upwards of 73,000 baseball fans. But for those who first walked through Municipal Stadium’s gates during the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, the legend of Lou Boudreau and Bob Feller had been replaced by seasons of mediocre baseball and a stretch of ugly uniforms. Ultimately, the idea of the Indians reaching the World Series became so laughable a movie was created around the concept.
Then, it all changed. Jacobs Field hosted its first regular-season game April 4, 1994, and no team reached the Fall Classic that year as a baseball strike scrapped the entire postseason. Then came 1995 and an Indians team filled with names that went on to be immortalized as Tribe royalty (Sandy Alomar Jr., Carlos Baerga, Kenny Lofton) and live in team infamy (Albert Belle, José Mesa).
That year, the Indians marched to their first World Series since 1954, only to lose to the Atlanta Braves. In 1997, the All-Star Game came to Jacobs Field, capped off with a game-winning Sandy Alomar Jr. home run and the confirmation that something sweet was in the air. It still is.
This summer, the All-Star Game returns to Cleveland. Along with it comes the renewal of hope among those who regularly gather at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario that something special can still happen in this place. That’s because it already has. 2401 Ontario St., Cleveland 44115, 216/420-4487, indians.com
Great Indians Giveaways
The Indians are ready to take another run at the American League Central Division title. If you’re making the trip to downtown Cleveland, here are a handful of dates to consider.
May 4: Home Plate Welcome Mat (vs. Seattle Mariners)
You may be the king of your castle, but are you the all-star of your abode? A red welcome mat in the shape of home plate goes to the first 10,000 fans and leaves little question about where your baseball loyalties lie to anyone sliding by for a visit.
June 22: Replica Ballpark (vs. Detroit Tigers)
Progressive Field (and, yes, it will always be The Jake to many of us) celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2019. Be one of the first 15,000 people through the gates and receive a replica of the iconic ballpark that’ll make you the envy of your co-workers.
July 20: Francisco Lindor “Mr. Smile” Jersey (vs. Kansas City Royals)
His megawatt grin could put Progressive Field’s towering toothbrush-shaped lights to shame. The first 17,500 fans to this matchup will receive a red and blue Francisco Lindor jersey bearing the number 12 and the words “Mr. Smile” across the back.
Aug. 14: Beach Bag (vs. Boston Red Sox)
As summer stretches on and the postseason grows ever nearer, the Indians are handing out a beach bag to the first 10,000 people through the gates. Whether, you’re heading to Edgewater Park or beyond, you’ll be soaking up the sun while showing off your Tribe pride.
For more information about 2019 Cleveland Indians promotions, visit indians.com/promotions.