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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

4 Down, 26 To Go

If you are a fan of baseball, you may have a similar lifetime goal that I have. That is to eventually see all 30 (currently) Major League Baseball (MLB) teams play in their home parks. However, thus far in my life I have visited very few of MLB's 30 home stadiums.

Actually, until tonight I had only visited three stadiums: Los Angeles Dodger's Dodger Stadium, Oakland Coliseum for the Oakland Athletics, and Yankee's Stadium in the Bronx for the New York Yankees. And to think, tonight's game was almost rained out!

While it will take me some time to get to the full 30 stadiums, I happened to be out in Cleveland, OH for business and had always hear great things about Jacobs Field -- now call Progressive Field in downtown Cleveland. Since I was going to be in Cleveland for a couple of days, my buddy Josh was able to come up to Cleveland from Columbus and catch a game with me.

Getting tickets was pretty easy using eBay. I have found that with baseball games especially, a lot of season ticket holders will dump their tickets on eBay just a day or two before the game and they go for about half the price. I was able to scoop up a pair of tickets on the lower level (152) right behind home plate about 30 rows back for only $20 a piece. (Try that in Los Angeles!) The tickets were deliverd via an emailed PDF and we were ready to go.

That was until it looked like it was going to rain. Really rain. I spent a good portion of the afternoon wondering if it was going to work out or not as it rained on and off throughout the afternoon. But, as I kept checking to see if it was postponed and the game was still on.

When we arrived at the stadium, there was a decently heavy mist -- but, as we walked in the players were warming up and getting ready to take the field. That was welcomed news and it was a good opportunity to take in Progressive Field.

I was really impressed with the stadium. It is right adjacent to the Quicken Loans arena where the Cleveland Cavaliers play and there is a good number of restaraunts and bars near by. Once in the stadium, there are a lot of angles versus a typical symmetrical stadium like Dodgers Stadium. In addition, although the capacity is still 43,000 -- it feels a lot smaller and more intimate.

It also helped that we had great seats. :-)

And we enjoyed a great game. The shutout by C.C. Sabathia and home runs by Grady Sizemore and Ryan Garko provided the fireworks for the night. More impressive was the streak of scoreless innings thrown by Indians starting pitchers. It was in the 40's by the end of the night.

Even better, we did not get too wet. While it was damp throughout -- it only briefly sprinkled in the first and ninth innings. Otherwise, it was a comfortable night at the ballpark.

And here is tonight's public service announcement.