Saturday, April 2, 2011

Opening Day Bob Feller Festivities

Spring is here !!

Last Thursday afternoon there was 4" of snow on Jacobs Field.

(I'm sorry, I have Progressive insurance, but it's still the "The Jake" to me.

My son Josh and I were planning on going to the opening day game. It's usually very cold and sometimes very nasty on opening day so we had never been to one before but this one was different.There was to be a special ceremony in honor of Bob Feller. One of , if not the, greatest pitcher in Cleveland baseball history. My only regret is that our youngest son, Andy, could not be here with us because of his new job.But I am very proud of him for his accomplishments so far. Of course, I'm also proud of Josh who was with me!

Opening Day always sells out in Cleveland. I went to order tickets about 1 1/2 weeks before the game, thought I would be safe, wrong. The day before I got paid the "sold out" announcement was made. D___ ( Darn ) it !! Well, I've never bought tickets from a scalper before but I was determined to go this game.

We left New London about 11:00 Friday morning and headed for the train station.We take the rapid transit into Tower City where you can walk to the stadium.Much easier than fighting traffic downtown. There are two parking lots at the train station. The first one, that we usually park in, was full and blocked off by the local law enforcement. So we had to go to the next lot, which makes a little longer walk, but it was a nice day so that was no problem. As we approached the ramp to the station we could see the lines of fans waiting. We just laughed, we knew there was going to be a wait. First surprise of the day. We only waited about five minutes and were able to board the next train. About 20-30 minutes later we were there !

Tower City is one of the tall buildings you can see behind the scoreboard in my photos. It's has an indoor mall with a nice food court. We had plenty of time so we stopped and had some pizza for lunch and then headed to the field. First disappointment of the day.

The walkway from Tower City ends up in the Cavs complex which is right next door to the stadium. You walk out onto the sidewalk and the scalpers are always there on the street trying to hawk tickets. We looked down the street.... no scalpers !! Oh crap !

We get closer to the gates and see a group of people with signs. Tickets !! No, some people with some sort of racial protest against the Tribe. Didn't even want to know that was all about.

I told Josh "Maybe we can get some standing room only tickets and at least get inside." He agreed, so I went to ticket window. A very nice young lady asked if she could help. "I don't suppose you have any tickets do you !?" Her answer, to our amazement, was yes, I have some upper deck available. I also a few box seats at $75.00. No thanks, I'll take two upper deck. I gave a her twenty, she gave me two tickets and $4.00 change !! Now we're excited !! The tickets were in section 550 which is right behind and just to the right of home plate! We were looking right down the third base line and into the Indians dugout.

So a sell out isn't always a sell out !

As you approach the gate there is always a stand selling year books and scorecards. We had to have those for this game. The year book is only $5.00 and very high quality with nice articles and photos of all the players. All on 96 pages of heavy, glossy stock. Passing through the gates you have the opportunity to pick a " Batter Up " program. It's smaller, about 5x8" but has 40+ pages and it's free ! The first give-a-way of the year is usually this magnetic schedule. It's one piece, but is scored for separation between the schedule and the big letter "C". It's also scored around the "C" so you can punch it out if you so desire.

It's good to see the old scoreboard again !

We have about 1 1/2 hrs. before the game.

We finally wander up to our seats.

Really not a bad view at all even though it's a little high up.

Here the grounds crew is getting to field ready.

The batter's boxes are being painted in along with Bob Feller's #19 on the back side of the pitcher's mound.

A huge jersey and Mr.Feller's military photo are hung on the left field wall.

Here we go !!

A long, double file row of people march out onto the field along with a caterpillar looking thing on the warning track !

More caterpillars emerge and the rows of people separate to display a huge flag in the shape of our great country !

The color guards are in place and the teams have now been announced.

The Indians' jerseys are #19 for the pre game ceremony.

A Naval officer escorts Mrs. Feller to the pitcher's mound where she places a ceremonial baseball on the rubber.
This was a very emotional part of the day.

Now the caterpillars open up and red white and blue balloons rise up,up and away out of the stadium.

Now we're getting down to the nitty gritty with the meeting of the minds at home plate.

Then, to a standing "O" , the Indians take the field for the first time in 2011 !

At least I was standing. And as always, I'm thinking World Series !

I always have faith in my Tribe until we're mathematically eliminated.

The first warm up pitch !

THE first pitch ! A strike to Juan Pierre !

Well, the out come wasn't so good, but I was impressed by how they came back fro 14-0 to lose only by 5, at 15-10.



  1. Man, what a GREAT post! I felt like I was right there! I hate that we have had such a rough start, but we are Tribe Fans to the end!

  2. That protest happens every season. It's Native Americans wanting the name "Indians" changed. It pretty much happens at the start of the season for any team with that sort or name (Braves, Redskins, etc.)

  3. You are probably right Andy ! We just walked by and didn't pay any attention.

    Thanks David, quite a compliment since that young man below your comment is the real writer in the family !(maybe he's rubbing off on me)