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2016 Indians OutlookAfter finishing just one game over .500 last season, the Cleveland Indians are looking to be real contenders in 2016. In the competitive AL Central that features the World Series Champs, the Indians will have a lot of work to do. This Cleveland squad features a lot of talented young pictures and prospects which could result in an interesting season for the Indians in 2016.
Cleveland Indians Ticket InformationThe Cleveland Indians provide some of the most entertaining baseball in all of North America. With a young, talented team, the Indians have established a winning culture. Baseball fans throughout the city of Cleveland are passionate about their team and provide an exhilarating experience at every game. Come see why a Cleveland Indians game is a must-see live event. Pick up your tickets now!
The Indians are a fun team that is focused on delivering wins to their home crowd. Their lineup features a balance of speed on the bases and power at the plate. The combination of athletic, young players and smart, wily veterans makes the Indians so much fun to root for. Come and cheer on “The Tribe” as they conquer their opposition. Grab tickets right away!
There is no better ballpark to watch a game than at Progressive Field in Cleveland. The city of Cleveland is full of passionate fans that fill almost 40,000 seats and loudly support their team. A ballgame at “The Jake” has an electric atmosphere. Don’t miss out on the festivities. Get your Cleveland Indians tickets today!
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The Tribe by the Lake: A Brief History of the Cleveland IndiansThe Cleveland franchise began play as a charter team in the American League in 1901. Several name changes later, the club was christened the Indians in 1915. Home games were originally contested in League Park prior to moving to Cleveland Municipal Stadium in 1946. The team and their faithful currently call Progressive Field home, which opened as a newly constructed stadium named Jacobs Field in the 1994 season.
Despite employing the services of several Hall-of-famers, namely Nap Lajoie and Tris Speaker, the Indians would struggle as an also ran for much of their early existence. A contender took some time to build, but by 1918 the Indians would have the pieces in places. After consecutive 2nd place finishes in 1918 and 1919, the 1920 Indians would finish with a record of 98-56 to win their first AL Pennant. The success would carry over into the World Series as the Tribe defeated the Brooklyn Robins in seven games to claim their first World Series crown.
Their success was short-lived, an aging squad would fail to repeat as champions and the Tribe would flounder in mediocrity for over two decades. 1936 would see the debut of Hall-of-fame P Bob Feller, who would go on to become the Indians all-time leader in wins and strikeouts. The struggles continued and the Indians would remain out of contention until the 1948 season. Behind AL MVP Lou Boudreau, the Tribe would finish with a record of 97-58, good for another AL Pennant and a trip to the World Series. A six game affair with the Boston Braves would see the Indians emerge victorious. The Tribe and their fans celebrated their second World Series title.
The Indians remained in contention for the next five seasons but came up short in their quest to return to the postseason. Stars would align in 1954 and the Tribe would soar to a record of 111-43 and win another AL Pennant. A solid lineup anchored by Larry Doby and Bobby Avila combined with a loaded pitching staff featuring Early Wynn, Bob Lemon and Feller produced the best record in franchise history. A date with the New York Giants would bring the season to an unfortunate ending, as the Giants would sweep the heavily favored Indians to win the series.
An epic drought and period of ineptness would follow. Cleveland would remarkably fail to make the postseason for the next forty years. Following a third place finish in 1968, the Tribe would not finish higher in their division until 1994. They could never seem to get it right, frequent ownership changes led to poor management and mishandling of talent. Potential stars that they were able to develop were either traded away or consumed by injuries. A competent GM and a move to new surroundings would finally set the Tribe on the path to redemption.
GM John Hart would make number of savvy moves and finally build the Tribe into a contender. Trades would net Sandy Alomar Jr., Carlos Baerga and Kenny Lofton and the team would hire Mike Hargrove as Manager. The organization was primed for success and a move into their new digs at Jacobs Field in 1994 would kick the quest for the postseason into high gear. A 1994 players strike would wipe out the remainder of the season, disappointing the Tribe and their faithful as they were in 2nd place at the time. Renewed hope would guide the team into 1995 and the Indians would win 100 games and the AL East. The Tribe would roll through the playoffs behind their young core of Albert Belle, Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez to set-up a date with the Atlanta Braves in the World Series. The dream season would come to an end with the Indians losing in six games.
The Tribe had arrived and they were an incredibly hot ticket, drawing well over 3 million fans in each season from 1996 through 2001. On-field success would continue as well with the Indians reaching the postseason in five of the six seasons. The Tribe would return to the World Series in 1997, losing in a heartbreaking seven games to the Florida Marlins. It remains Cleveland’s last trip to the Fall Classic. Although the Indians and their faithful enjoyed a prolific run of postseason visits, the lack of a World Series title is viewed as somewhat of a disappointment. As with all great teams, free agency and age would take its toll on the roster and the Indians would slowly dismantle.
The Indians returned to the middle of the pack before retooling and returning to the postseason in 2007. Cleveland would knock off the Yankees in the opening round prior to being defeated by the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS. No prolific stretch of postseason visits would follow this time and the Tribe and their fans would sit on the sidelines in October until 2013. A one game playoff to decide the AL Wild Card vs. the Tampa Bay Rays was their last visit to the postseason with the Tribe losing 4-0. Manager Terry Francona rook home the AL Manager of the Year Award for increasing the team’s win total from 68 to 92, an incredible 24 game turnaround.
After falling short of the postseason in 2014, the Tribe will look to get back on track in 2015. Ps Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco anchor a potentially imposing staff, while the offense harkens back to the glory days of the 1990s. Offensive fireworks can erupt at any moment, a stacked lineup featuring 1B Carlos Santana, OF Michael Brantley, DH Brandon Moss and 2B Jason Kipnis should have little trouble generating runs. Progressive Field remains one of the top-rated ballparks in all of baseball and was named as Best MLB Stadium by Sports Illustrated in 2008. The glory days of the Tribe and the ‘Jake’ may very well be close to returning as the Indians pursue their first AL Pennant since 1997 and an elusive third World Series title.
RECENT CLEVELAND INDIANS DISCUSSION
Cleveland Indians | Episode 305Host: Wouldn’t it be great if you could get a PhD in life through baseball? Welcome to Baseball PhD, a tour company for your brain, 30 major league teams, 100 places to see. Let’s touch them all as we make the road trip of a lifetime.
Farley Dillinger: It’s a beautiful day for baseball.
Ed Kasputis: Hi, I’m Ed Kasputis.
Farley Dillinger: I’m Farley Dillinger.
Mark Rantala: And I’m Mark Rantala.
Farley: We’re home in Cleveland. Welcome to Baseball PhD.
Mark: And to all our fans, we’re glad you’re here with us and as you know, the Cavs are doing great in the NBA Finals.
Farley: Go Cavs!
Mark: And we’ll get to see LeBron James again in the podcast.
Farley: The King for all of our listeners who use our IPhone or Android app, this bonus episode content will be our 2014 Cleveland Indians podcast, which is episode 258 released on May 9th, 2014.
Mark: And while you’re looking up all of LeBron’s tweets, why don’t you go ahead and follow us too on Twitter? Our Twitter address is simple.
Mark: Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast. We produce each podcast in two audio formats.
Farley: Enhanced podcasts with chapters and pictures for all of our listeners who use ITunes and standard mp3 podcasts for everyone else.
Ed: And never forget, we love to hear from our listeners. Your ideas and feedback are important to us.
Ed: Welcome to season six of Baseball PhD, in March, go Tribe! Both Farley and Mark predicted that the Indians were playoff teams. I did not predict that. 20 minutes ago, as we’re preparing for this podcast, I eavesdropped on these two fine gentlemen. They still are drinking the Cool Aid, they believe that the Indians can raise from the ashes, correct?
Mark: Yes. We’re closing the gap already.
Ed: Yes. President Obama, this is the enthusiasm we need for all of our soldiers. We can defeat our enemies, if they have that optimism. Nick Swisher is back.
Ed: Nick Swisher I think is the most expensive free agent the Indians have ever paid for. He has surgery this winter on both knees.
Ed: He got a good bill of health from the VA Hospital
Farley: He was still waiting for his appointment there.
Ed: Yes, exactly. So they had to go.
Mark: So they took him at the Cleveland Clinic.
Ed: Yes, they had to go to the Clinic. He doubled in spring training, they sent him to Triple-A, he came back. While I was watching Cleveland Cavaliers playoff baseball, Farley-
Ed: -basketball I mean, Farley and Mark have been watching Nick Swisher, give me your report, is he coming back okay?
Mark: Yes, I mean he got some RBIs last night and thrown in some runs, kind of help the Indians up over Texas. It’s been a work in progress, but he’s definitely helping. He’s getting better.
Ed: Okay, so there was an article in The Plain Dealer where people were asking, “Could there be a fire sale for the Indians?”, but you were like, “Heck, no, it’s too early”.
Ed: This isn’t a team that you fire sale. We’ve got lots of young talent signed to long term contracts. We’ve got a couple of players that if someone wanted them, I’m sure we would sell, but I don’t see--
Mark: Like who?
Ed: Well, I think if somebody needed the center field we’d probably let Michael Bourn go.
Mark: Yes, I agree. The Bourn identity, I’d let him go.
Ed: And I think you could make a case that--
Mark: We’d sell off Chen.
Ed: Yes, if somebody needed them. If anybody wanted Swisher, but I don’t see anybody--
Mark: Yes, he would be an expensive buy. He’d be expensive.
Ed: Yes, he’d be expensive to sell because you’d have to do that.
Mark: Professor Bruce Bukiet who is our grand predictions champion, he has predicted the Indians will win 80 games this year and you guys and I disagree with that.
Farley: We said they’d be at 500.
Mark: That’s 81 in 81.
Farley: I know.
Mark: Farley did a joke, that’s good, I like Farley.
Ed: Yes, I think we said they would make the playoffs. I didn’t think that they would win the division even though some at Sports Illustrated were predicting the World Series.
Mark: They did that to mess with us.
Farley: If you get in the playoffs you can win the World Series and we know that.
Mark: At the 100th game mark last year, Kansas City was 50 and 50. And look at where they went.
Mark: Hold on, it’s still early.
Ed: I thought that Farley is like this way.
Mark: It’s still early.
Farley: Yes, last time we got together it was too early to even be early.
Mark: Right, now it’s just early.
Farley: Yes, it might be early.
Mark: Hey, listen, at the time of this recording, the Indians are playing 382 baseball. My prediction is the next time we’re recording a podcast they’ll be playing better.
All right, let’s go over the Baseball PhD Index. We’ve got to actually measure stuff instead of just our feelings. Farley, what is the Baseball PhD Index?
Farley: Well, the Baseball PhD Index is a ranking system to rank teams on batting, pitching and fielding. Everybody gets a score between 2 and 60- 1 and 60.
Mark: 1 and 30 each category.
Farley: Yes, 1 and 30 in each category.
Mark: This is only like the 55th time Farley. You could get the 3 in 90.
Farley: Right, you get the 3 in 90.
Mark: 3 is a perfect score, 90 is dog vomit.
Mark: All right, so let’s look at what our numbers say. Who is our number 1 ranked team as of May 16th 2015?
Ed: The Los Angeles Dodgers.
Mark: Yes, third in batting, fourth in pitching, tied for sixth in fielding with the score of 13.5. Who’s number 2, Farley?
Farley: The Kansas City Royals and they are looking good at number 2 in batting, 5 and a half in pitching, 12 and half in fielding for an overall index score of 20.
Mark: Who’s number 3?
Mark: All right. So off the top three teams, two are in the American League Central.
Farley: How about that?
Mark: That’s what worried me about the Indians. The Royals and the Tigers are very good. Now, number 4, as we stand here in Cleveland or as I look at Farley, well, most of the time he’s wearing Cubs paraphernalia- today he’s wearing Chief Wahoo- today the baseball gods do promote change. Who is number 4 in the Baseball PhD Index?
Farley: The Huston Astros.
Mark: Wow. Nobody predicted that.
Farley: That’s true.
Mark: Huston is eleventh in batting, eighth in pitching, ninth in fielding, with a score of 28. And to give you perspective--
Farley: They’re leading the AL West by the way.
Mark: They’re leading the AL West, professor Bruce Bukiet who normally is correct, he predicted that they would only win 55 games this year.
Farley: Well, they won 23 already.
Ed: I think the professor might have missed that one. I don’t expect them to win the division, I expect them to have a dog day of August collapse and probably finish near 500, based on their good start, but I don’t see them surviving at this rarefied air.
Mark: All right. I’ll give you three choices. We’re sitting in the studios of Walt Disney, what is the better movie? Astros all the way? Cubs all the way? Indians all the way in 2015?
Farley: The most likely prediction there is the Cubs. For a movie, because it’s so unbelievable.
Mark: All right, now, number 5, very surprising, who’s number 5 in our Baseball PhD Index?
Farley: Tampa Bay.
Mark: Tampa Bay? 22 in batting, tied for fifth in pitching, number 2 in fielding with a score of 29.5 and behind them, number 6 is Saint Louis, tied for 12 in batting, number 1 in pitching, but nineteenth in fielding for a score of 32.5. Now, since time is running out, let’s focus on the bottom three to give us perspective. Who is the worst team in our Baseball PhD Index, Farley?
Farley: The Chicago White Sox.
Mark: 29th in batting, 27th in pitching, 24th in fielding for an 80 score where 90 is the worst.
Farley: That may be one of the worst scores we’ve ever had.
Mark: No, a month ago the Brewers were at 87. The Brewers have moved up, they’ve watched a few George Jefferson different strokes, no, the Jefferson’s episode. Now, Milwaukee is 23rd in batting, 25th in pitching, tied for 28th in fielding with a score of 67.5. And sandwiched in between at 29th is- who?
Farley: The Philadelphia Phillies.
Mark: 30th in batting, 21 in pitching and tied for 26th in fielding. Wow, remember four or five years ago, it was so inevitable they were going to win a World Series?
Ed: And they were going to be a dynasty team.
Mark: They were going to be a dynasty team. You know what? Whenever that happens, it’s the kiss of death. I’m going to throw one last thing to you, Washington. They pick up Max Scherzer, and we say, “Wow, what a pitching staff”. Farley, where are the Nats ranked in pitching in the Major Leagues?
Farley: They’re ranked 12th.
Farley: Yes. Not stellar, not even top third.
Mark: The New York Yankees are ranked 10th in pitching. 10th. In our PhD Index, the Yankees are 9. Guys, could the Yankees win the AL East and the baseball universe is put back in proper rotation?
Farley: Don’t hold your breath.
Ed: I don’t think so.
Mark: Who’s going to beat them?
Ed: Well, I’m not sure about that, but I do think it’s— It’s sort of like having Huston win the American League West, it ain’t going to happen.
Mark: I, last weekend, went to Toronto, I saw the Blue Jays play two games against the Red Sox, they beat them on Friday night, 7-0, they beat them on Saturday, 7-1. I wanted to win this predictions contest so I took the dark horse to the Red Sox. With what I saw, not impressed. Now the Blue Jays, let’s see where they are. They’re 13th, they’re ranked behind the Yankees, the Blue Jays are number 1 in hitting, Farley, where are they in pitching?
Farley: Well, that’s the problem. They’re 29th in pitching and 12 and half in the field.
Ed: No team can win anything if they’re 29th in pitching. Okay, now for our Baseball PhD fans, if you have never been to Rogers Centre, this time, both of my games, the roof was open. Rogers Centre is magnificent with the roof open. When I went several years ago, both games, the roof was closed. It’s like a Metrodome experience, but with the roof open it was spectacular. So if you can get to Toronto in the summer months with good weather, you will be delighted. Farley and Mark, I did something I never did before, they have a market there, over by the right field of foul line, I bought apples, I bought oranges, I ate healthy and you can still eat healthy if you choose, but it was the best nutritional ballpark I saw. It put Dollar Dog Night to shame. After the break, let’s go to the Cleveland street corner of Lexington and East 66 St.
Mark: To learn about historic League Park which was built before the Cleveland Indians were even a franchise.
Mark: May 1st, 1891, on the mound, Cy Young, ready to throw out the first pitch at League Park in Cleveland, Ohio before of crowd of 9,000 fans.
Ed: So let’s talk about League Park. League Park was before my day, I think they tore it down in 1951 so you didn’t go there either, Mark, right?
Mark: No, I have been to the park and seen the remains that weren’t torn down. I’ve not actually been back since they did the restoration.
Ed: Right, they restored it, so Farley, about two-three years ago, Dave Matejczyk came here on a Saturday and he said, “Let me take you to League Park” and for our Baseball PhD listeners, League Park was the first home of the Cleveland Indians and many other places. It was a baseball park located in Cleveland on the corner of Lexington Av and East 66th St, in the Hough neighborhood. And for us Clevelanders there’s a famous bakery called, “Hough Bakery”.
Mark: But that was the name of the neighborhood.
Ed: Right and they’ve moved from the neighborhood because in the ‘60s they had the Hough riot, so some businesses said, “We do need to go to a more gentle place”, and they did, but it was the home to the Major League, Baseball National League, Cleveland Spiders, the Western League, Cleveland Lakeshores, The Major League Baseball American League, Cleveland Bluebirds/Blues, The Cleveland Broncos/Bronchos. The Cleveland Naps and the Cleveland Indians and the Negro American League, Cleveland Buckeyes. Most of the structure was demolished in 1951, some still remains and after extensive renovation the site was rededicated on August 23rd 2014 as a recreational baseball facility. Now, we had more time. We’ve got to do it this summer, guys, we’ve got to physically go there and let Farley play on the AstroTurf and we can tell him, “This is where Babe Ruth played and he used to slap it”.
Farley: I did that at Tiger stadium.
Ed: Right, you did it at Tiger.
Farley: We got to do it here in Cleveland.
Mark: We got to do it there now, it’s in the Cleveland Clinic neighborhood basically. It’s just north of where the world famous Cleveland Clinic is located.
Ed: Right and as Clevelanders we knew that, we have a good hospital here and the League Park was opened May 1st 1891, had 9,000 wooden seats. Now the National League Cleveland Spiders, they played there until going out of business. Ready for this, Farley?
Farley: What a season they had.
Ed: After a disastrous 20 and 134 lost seasons in 1899.
Farley: I can’t imagine it.
Ed: That’s Bad News Bears.
Ed: That’s really, really, really bad. Okay, they were replaced the very next year by the Cleveland Lakeshore which was initially a Minor League team and then in 1901 the Cleveland Lakeshores were renamed the Cleveland Indians who became a charter member of the new American League. And I’m sure there is newspapers accounts where the Cleveland Lakeshores decided they wanted to offend someone and that’s when they chose the name ‘Indians’.
Ed: Because it had- They didn’t know, but in the future Al Gore was going to be born and maybe he would find Lakeshores offensive, but I don’t think so. Who threw out the first pitch?
Mark: Cy Young.
Ed: Cy Young.
Mark: He didn’t really—It wasn’t the ceremony for his pitch, he was the opening day pitcher.
Ed: He was the opening day pitcher. He was going to teach Cleveland what to expect later on when Bob Feller was born, but Cy Young- what a pitcher.
Mark: Do you think he won the Cy Young award?
Ed: He did not win the Cy Young award, they had to wait for Cy Young to show us what pitching excellence looked like and then I think it might have been 20 years later when they said—In fact I think the Cy Young award is so modern Bob Feller didn’t win the Cy Young award.
Mark: I don’t know, that may be true.
Ed: I think it is true. I really think it is. Now in 1910, League Park was rebuilt-
Mark: They got a redo.
Ed: -as a concrete and steel stadium, one of two to open that year in the American League, the other one being Comiskey Park.
Farley: So this was redone by – I think- the same company that did Comiskey and went on to do Fenway.
Ed: Osborn Architect and Engineering in Cleveland, a Cleveland firm, they’re still cranking stuff out, Mark.
Mark: Yes, they were famous for bridge building, that was their expertise and they were the HOK in populous of that era. They did five or six Major League ballparks, including Municipal Stadium.
Ed: You’re right. Now, Farley, you’ve been to Montreal with me.
Ed: Olympic Stadium and the people of Montreal were screaming that it’s too big and it would cost almost a billion dollars to tear down. When the City of Cleveland built the Cleveland Municipal Stadium to replace or to supplement League Park, were we ahead of our time and we created our own Olympic Stadium, because Mark, you’ve taught me the story, the dream of the people in Cleveland was that Cleveland Municipal Stadium could be an Olympic Stadium.
Mark: That was the vision or at least the hope at the time. Because you have to remember in the ‘30s Cleveland was the fifth or sixth largest of metropolitan areas in the country. It was a big deal.
Ed: It was a big deal. Now in 1916, the new team owner, “Sunny Jim” Dunn renamed the park Dunn Field and the Indians hosted games four through seven of the 1920 World Series at Dunn Field. And Farley, you’re going to learn this as I help you with the state planning as you get older, okay? When Dunn died in 1922 his wife inherited the ballpark and the team and when Dunn’s widow—but her name wasn’t Mrs Dunn, it was Mrs George Pross, sold the franchise in 1927 for one million to a group headed by Alva Bradley, the name reverted to the more prosaic League Park.
Farley: That’s almost the story of Major League. The first movie, where the wife takes over when the husband dies, but she was trying to move it to Miami.
Farley: And all I can say is when the husband dies in the history of the world, the wife never increases the value of anything.
Farley: She just sells the thing at 80 cents on the dollar on a good day.
Ed: You were right about Feller having never won the Cy Young because the first pitcher to win it was 1955 and that would’ve been at the end of Feller’s career.
Ed: It was a modern day award. Now from July 1932 through ’33 the Indians played at their new and far larger Municipal Stadium. They did something that I’ve never seen another team do. They split their games between two ballparks. I mean maybe that’s something you would do in Saudi Arabia if you were so rich, but I’ve never seen any- and have you remembered of another team that did that where they built their new stadium and it’s like, “Okay, for really special games and for Sunday games we’re going to be at the new stadium, but on weekdays we’re going to play at the old stadium”.
Mark: Yes, I don’t think that I know of any circumstance similar to that.
Ed: Yes, no, when they started to do that players and fans complained about the huge outfield were to reduce the number of homeruns. And as a great depression worsened, attendants at Indians games for the much larger facility plummeted. Think of this psychology of what’s happened in the past 20 years. Major League Baseball’s actually built smaller stadiums that are more intimate and I got to admit, going to a game where there’s a lot of empty seats, there’s not much energy and it’s not very uplifting.
Mark: No, it’s not.
Ed: So we want to be compact. In 1934 the Indians moved most of their games back to League Park. In 1936 the Indians begin splitting their schedule again between the two parks, playing Sunday and holiday games at Cleveland Municipal Stadium during the summer and the remainders at League Park. Beginning in 1938 they also selected important games downtown at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Lights were never installed at League Park and thus no Major League night games were ever played there, Farley.
Farley: There you go.
Ed: Even the Cubs compromised.
Mark: They capitulated.
Ed: However at least one professional night game was played on July 27th 1931 between the Homestead Greys and The House of David, those were those travelling guys with big beards who looked like the Saint Louis Cardinal Relievers, that they repositioned. Okay. Who borrowed the portable lightning system used by the Kansas City Monarchs and they were like the New York Yankees of the Negro League. They were very, very good. By 1940, the Indians played most of their home schedule at Municipal Stadium abandoning League Park entirely after the 1946 season. League Park became the last stadium used in Major League Baseball never to install permanent lights. After the demise of the Negro American League, Cleveland Buckeyes following the 1950 season, League Park was no longer used as a regular sports venue. The Cleveland Browns practiced there, the Cleveland Rams played games there and they then moved to LA and then they moved to Saint Louis and I will prophesize they will move back to LA- but they could, They could move back to LA, but that used to be their home field. Now, the dimensions, the left field fence was 3.85.
Farley: That’s not bad, it’s normal.
Ed: No, it’s not.
Ed: 3.35 is the minimum dimension, Farley. Center field was 4.60.
Farley: That’s deep.
Ed: That’s very deep. On a good day I can hit at maybe 4.50, I can’t do 4.60.
But right field was only 290 ft so they had--
Ed: Except, fill in the blanks, Mark.
Mark: They had a right field wall, the opposite of Fenway--
Ed: A bigger green monster.
Mark: It was 40 ft high.
Ed: Right. And the green monster in Boston is how high?
Ed: 37, so three more feet, who hit their 500th homerun at League Park?
Mark: Babe Ruth.
Ed: Babe Ruth. Over the Cleveland monster.
Farley: The Lake Are monster, yes.
Ed: Let’s talk about monumental things. Notable events. May 1st 1891, the park opened as we said, Cy Young delivered the first pitch. October 2nd, 3rd and 5th, the ballpark hosts the first three games of that year Temple’s Cup Series, a World Series precursor, between the Cleveland Spiders facing the Baltimore Orioles. Cleveland would eventually clench the series in Baltimore, so 1895, Farley, is when we were normal and we started to win and stuff. All right. October 8th 1896, the ballpark hosts what will prove to be the final game of that year’s Temple Cup, a sweep by Baltimore as well as Cleveland’s final poses and appearance for the National League. Cleveland was in the National League.
Mark: I think that Baltimore was in the National League then too.
Ed: Right. That was the Senior Circuit.
Mark: That was the only circuit in that timeframe and the American League was created because the National League downsized.
Ed: Right, they contracted and remember a couple of years ago, when Major League of Baseball threatened what- was it Minnesota and Tampa Bay with contraction? Well, that’s how you get target field built, but anyway 1900 the new American League, normally a minor league returns professional baseball to Cleveland after the National League contracted like we just said. Now, October 2nd 1907, the debut of female pitching sensation Alta Weiss. I have never even heard of Alta Weiss before. Have you guys?
Farley: Only in reading this, I looked it up, she was a Minor League pitcher so she did not pitch in the Majors and she was from this are, she was actually from Berlin, Ohio and she went on to be a physician after she was a pitcher.
Ed: Doctor Weiss.
Farley: Doctor Weiss.
Ed: Will there ever be a female pitcher at the Major League level?
Farley: Well, Mark and I were kicking this around because there’s that commercial that’s on right now that they played ad nauseam during games.
Mark: And you have to look really hard, I don’t know if that’s a woman, but go ahead.
Farley: My kind of original point was because the other AT&T commercial they had, because the point is, “Where would you be?” and they show everybody watching this historic performance and then the other historic moment that they talk about is when man lands on- or a man or woman- lands on Mars and I think that will happen before a woman will pitch in the Majors although mark made a good point, because I don’t believe that there was a—There’s no Minors- Mark pointed out college. Mark pointed out college.
Mark: No, if you are a Major League prospect and you’re a female, you’ll still go through the Minor League system.
Ed: Okay, right. But more likely find your way in through the college ranks first and then to the Minors, but my point to Farley was--
Farley: You might be married to the manager before your debut.
Ed: Farley’s point was he didn’t think that a woman could throw a 97 miles/hour fastball and I said, “Well, she could certainly throw a knuckle ball”. We might see the return of the knuckle ball. I don’t even think that the woman would have to be a knuckle ball pitcher, she would just have to be a pitcher, not all pitchers can pitch 97. We over glorify speed. What is the purpose- when Moe Berg, the guy that inspired us to start Baseball PhD wrote his famous article on pitchers and catchers, the whole point of a pitcher and catcher, how do we continuously keep the batter not comfortable? By changing speeds, direction and all that stuff, so I don’t think you’re going to have a power pitcher. I think you might have a very sophisticated finesse pitcher if a woman is going to make it to the Major Leagues. She can’t equal Nolan Ryan or anybody like that.
Mark: There’s no one in the Major League that can equal Nolan Ryan’s career in terms of--
Ed: Not career, you know what I mean, for raw speed and all of that. We’ve got guys who are throwing as fast right now, right?
Farley: Okay, so what’s your prediction, guys? When will there be a female pitcher in the Major Leagues?
Ed: Yes, you never want to say never, I say 20 years and it will be a novelty, it’s not like she’s going to have a great career, but they might call somebody up, in fact in the spirit of Bill Veeck.
The next midget batter will be pitcher and we’ll all come and we’ll sit with Jane Fonda and we’ll sell out a ballpark for 40,000 seats and our daughters will be proud and hopefully--
Mark: It will be Mo’ne Davis in September of 2025.
Ed: No. It will not be, but I just hope that they do not meet the same result as her score where they are hit by a pitch in the head and all that. You got to remember, some of these Little League phenomenon, the reason they’re phenomenon is their body matured and they’re 12-year-old and they’re great, but then when you meet them when they’re 20 it’s like, “Who are you?” and it’s like, “I’m a peer now. I’m not superior.” Now, Farley, if we had to do time travel for Cleveland baseball, I would want to take you and Mark to October 10th 1920. Game five of the 19 World Series against the Brooklyn Robins who’s future name would be the Trolley Dodgers, this was before Vin Scully was announcing for them, but not that much.
And think of this, in one game, in the bottom of the first hitting, Cleveland right fielder, Elmer Smith hits the first grand slam homerun in the history of the World’s Series. This is 1920.
Ed: They started the World Series I believe in 1903, Mark. So 17 years they hadn’t had a grand slam, then in the bottom of the fourth, okay, Farley would just be coming back, getting us cokes and dollar hot dogs.
Farley: Which were quite good back then.
Mark: They would’ve been a quarter in this--
Ed: Dollar hot dogs and filet mignon on a bun. Cleveland pitcher Jim Bagby hits the first homerun by a pitcher in the World Series.
Mark: Here we go.
Ed: Okay. Then in the top of the fifth hitting, Cleveland’s second baseman, Bill Wambsganss executes the first and only so far unassisted triple play in series history.
Mark: Did we see that on the video yet?
Farley: There wasn’t video in 1920.
Mark: My point exactly.
Ed: I don’t know about you guys, but I got an IPhone app called YouTube 1920 and I see stuff that other people don’t. Can you imagine if we went to that game? The stories we would tell to our wives when we got home from a World’s Series game at 5:30 PM for dinner? What a world. That’s League Park for our Baseball PhD fans, when you make a trip to Cleveland, I suggest that you get to the corner of Lexington and East 66 St, you see and touch some baseball history. I’m very glad that we’ve covered this and--
Mark: And if you stop at League Park it’s just the short stretched shed to Lakeview Cemetery.
Ed: Lakeview Cemetery, sports fans, is the Arlington’s Cemetery of Cleveland. The who’s who of Cleveland. John D. Rockefeller, president James Garfield, Eliot Ness, Ray Chapman, the second baseman who was killed by a pitch at Yankees Stadium and someday, Ed Kasputis.
Farley: What should a visiting Baseball PhD see while in Cleveland?
Mark: Well, after the break Ed interviews mister Sports Travel aka Joe Connor about what makes our region great, giving you a perspective of an outsider.
Ed: A wonderful Baseball PhD welcome to mister Sports Travel. How goes it, Sir?
Joe Connor: It’s another tough day in paradise.
Ed: You’re in San Diego watching both Mexico and the Pacific Ocean at the same time?
Joe Connor: Yes, that’s why we live here and pay the high taxes.
Ed: Well, I need your advice. I’m standing in our World Studios in Cleveland, Ohio and this is the Cleveland Indians podcast and I’ve always wanted to do it, but I never had the guts to do it. I want to call you in San Diego and say, “What should I see in Cleveland? What do you consider worthy and then I’ll check it off to say either I saw it or I didn’t see it” because I do want to close the gap between me and you. So when you cross the Mississippi and you come to Ohio, what should a learned sports person do?
Joe: Well, we’re talking specifically of Cleveland, not just the great state of Ohio, correct?
Ed: Right, but Ohio is a great state and with you, you could be coming from the southern route because you wanted to see Cincinnati and Columbus before you hit Lake Erie, but yes, let’s talk about the top half of the state and if you want to dabble in Columbus, we can, but in Cleveland, what are the things that you would definitely say you got to see and then some of the things you would say, maybe see?
Joe: Well, besides obviously seeing the Indians and maybe some Minor League or Independent League ballparks that are in the vicinity of Metro Cleveland, my favorite tourist thing to do is definitely go out to the Cuyahoga Falls recreation area.
Joe: Because you’ve got waterfalls down there, great hiking trails, and you’re still within an hour’s drive to the city. And it’s just a different perspective that you don’t think of Cleveland when you’re there because those who live outside of Cleveland think Cleveland- Rust Belt and on the lake and cold and sports teams that haven’t won anything since, God, the ‘40s or ‘50s or whatever the heck it was, so--
Ed: Wait until this year, MBA, but keep going.
Joe: All right, so you think of Cuyahoga Falls, they don’t even think about that, they’re not even registered with them and so that’s why I mentioned in my guide that if you’re looking for a diversion, something that you wouldn’t think about in Cleveland, it’s just a heck of a lot of fun.
Joe: That’s how it comes to mind to me.
Ed: Well, let me make a confession, mister Sports Travel, I haven’t been there and that’s why I asked you to tell me what to do in my backyard.
Joe: Get down there, would you?
Ed: So I will go there. What else should I see? I mean we’re got the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame, you saw that, how would you rate that on a scale from 1 to 10?
Joe: It’s good, it’s good, I mean if you’ve not been there before, you should definitely go, but if you’re like me and you’ve seen it before and you’re not a goo goo ga ga rock and roll person and you got to go every year, you go to Cleveland. I try to focus on things I haven’t done. The most interesting thing for me the last time I was in Cleveland and by the way—Yes, I did, in fact I was at your World headquarters being podcasted, so I’ve been in the World headquarters, how many people can say that? But aren’t they restoring League Park?
Ed: They just restored it, there’s actually AstroTurf so I think Babe Ruth would’ve been a heck of a better hitter if he hit a ground ball, it’d be 10 feet in the air, but they restored it and we’re going to talk about that later in our podcast, about the restoration of League Park when the Indians won the 1920 World Series League Park was their park and Babe Ruth hit his 500th homerun at League Park.
Joe: And so I was there a couple of years ago and I could see they were working on it, but now it’s been completed.
Ed: They finished it.
Joe: So when I go back that’s one of the first things I want to see.
Ed: Yes, other than hugging me, you’re right, then I’ll take you to League Park and then we’re going to go to Cuyahoga Falls and try to catch Yogi Bear.
Joe: Yes, now, I also have not been able to catch a game – I keep missing it- in Avon Park. I believe it’s Avon Park--
Ed: Yes, the Lake Erie Crushers. I’ve been there several times. It’s nice. The one thing that I try to do, Dave Matejczyk is on our podcast. He’s like a Minor League baseball connoisseur and after I completed all 30 of the Major League ballparks, I started to go on some Minor League parks. I have a confession to make, mister Sports Travel.
Ed: I’m a Major League baseball snob.
Ed: I’d rather just go there. I don’t get excited about going to every Double-A or Triple-A park, do you?
Joe: Well, not just to the park itself, I think for me it’s the whole experience of travelling. Going to a place that I haven’t been before or going back to a place I haven’t been to in a number of years. So for example, I’ve been to the ballpark in Akron, downtown in Akron, twice.
Ed: Canal Park.
Joe: But it wasn’t like I went back-to-back years so there has to be some time period difference between them and I was at different stages of my life, the first time I went to the ballpark in Akron. And then the most recent time—Just like the first time I went to Jacko’s Field in 1998, my first ballpark trip when I went to 15 ballparks in 21 days. God, I was 26 years old and here I am, 43, so it’s just a different perspective, I think. But there is a lot of commonality as there are with the Major League parks, with the Minor League parks as far as design. So I can see where you’re coming from there.
Ed: Right and I also like to watch the talent. Dave Matejczyk, he literally has season tickets right next to the batter’s box so he likes to talk to players like, “Are you the next Derek Jeter?”, “Are you the next A-Rod? Can we talk?”
Joe: Is he talking to them? It sounds like he would be annoying them if he would be saying that. They’d be like, “Stay away from that guy in row 1, seat 1”.
Ed: No, he pulls it off better than me. I’d be the creep and they’d have me leave, but he does, so it’s very interesting that way. I’ve been to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, okay, Lake Erie Captains, okay, Toledo Mud Hens, Triple-A ball, good. But none of that really, really excites me. Now, have you been to Cedar Point?
Joe: I have not and I’m not a big amusement park guy, just as a heads-up, but I’ve not been there.
Ed: How would you rate Progressive Field in terms of a must-see? If you had to rank 30 ballparks, how would you rank them? Five, 10, 11, 15?
Joe: Back in the day when they sold out their every game, I would say that’s a must-see. It’s a top 10 because so much of what makes a great ballpark experience is the fans. I mean it really does and so, hopefully, the Indians will get back to that, where they sold out every game but at the rate they’re going now, that’s probably a bit of a stretch. So I wouldn’t put it in a top 10, I probably put it in a--
Ed: The middle 10.
Joe: The middle 10.
Ed: Yes, that’s--
Joe: I have an affinity for Cleveland not just because of you, but it’s an American city. It’s a blue collar, roll up your sleeves American city and I’ve always been treated well when I’ve been in Cleveland. I think I am a little nostalgic to Cleveland in the sense that it was one of the 15 parks I saw in my first ballpark trip which was a life changing event for me in ’98 and then from a goofy sense, I was a big fan of the movie Major League and that actually had a lot of influence on me in wanting to go to Cleveland because in ’98 was the first time that I visited, so, but yes, I would put it in the middle 10 and if they boost the attendance and they sell out at every game, yes, top 10.
Ed: And here’s my deep thought on Cleveland, it’s a great baseball hub. You fly in to Cleveland, you can go to Detroit, you can go to Pittsburg, and you can go to Cincinnati, last weekend I went to Toronto. Toronto from my front door is 299 miles to get to a mega-mega city as long as I have my passport and they’ll let me in and out of the country. So I like the location of Cleveland so that you can go and see stuff and to put it in perspective, you’re in San Diego, if you want to go see the Arizona Diamondbacks, isn’t that about 300 miles?
Joe: A little bit more, 360. So about five and half hours to get there. It’s funny you mentioned that because when I did my first ballpark trip in 1998 I wanted a central location and I flew to into Columbus.
Joe: Yes, Columbus-Cleveland, Indianapolis is another very central location to do a ballpark trip.
Ed: Right. A Triple-A city.
Joe: So I just—I agree, that’s a great point that you make is that you have the accessibility to northeast, the southeast, the southwest and the northwest to get to different locals.
Ed: You can do a Chicago trip, you can do a Baltimore trip, and in fact that’s when I got my baseball PhD by going to all 30. I feel like I kind of cheated because I was in the location of Cleveland. If you’re in San Diego, if you’re in Seattle, if you’re in Boston, you got a lot of territory to cover.
Joe: Yes, and that’s why I don’t recommend you do it in one year unless you’re filthy rich or you’re lucky with your employment. I did 15 in 21 days in ’98 and that was before the internet, but I was still able to do it and as I said, I flew into Columbus—In fact, my first game on that trip was the old Clippers’ Stadium and then my second game was in Cleveland, so I’m very nostalgic to that trip.
Ed: Well, let’s remind our Baseball PhD listeners, sometimes I think you’ve got to jump and have the net appear. I’ve talked to many men who want to see all the ballparks like you and I have, and as you’re talking to them, now they’re 65 or 70 and you tackling 15 in one summer, that gave you the bug that you wanted to see the world, you liked to see the world. I would think 15 is probably the ultimate upper limit of what anyone can digest in a summer.
Joe: Well, yes, I mean 15 in 21 days, I did it within a three-week timeframe and all the ballparks were, as you say, very strategically to Cleveland. I mean the further southeast I did was the Orioles mid-’98, the Nationals weren’t in Washington. The furthest northeast I did was Toronto. The furthest southeast I did was, I believe, Cincinnati, and then the furthest northwest that I did was The Twins, Minnesota. So I basically did a big circle and I was able to knock out 15 parks in 21 days and yes, then I said to myself, “You know what? Heck, I’m half way home.”
Ed: Right, it’s downhill from there, then you look at a map and it’s like, “There’s Seattle, there’s Denver, there’s the Florida teams.”
Joe: Those are the harder ones.
Ed: Yes. And then that’s what happened, I’ve talked to many men who’ve done like the core 15 to 18 and then it’s like, “Now I got to go to the far edges of the baseball universe”, but it’s just as fun. In closing, how great is the Cleveland area market for being a baseball/sports lover? We haven’t even talked about where football started.
Joe: Right. If you’re a big a football fan you got to go down to the Hall of Fame in Canton, which I’ve been to multiple times. Overall, because I have been to all the NFL, NHL, MBA, I’ve seen the CABs, I’ve been to Cleveland State Basketball game, and I’m a huge college basketball fan. I would say overall I’d put Cleveland in the top 10, probably in the lower 10, I mean it’s not an elite sports town, it’s not a Philadelphia, it’s not a Boston, it’s not a New York, but when the teams are winning and they’re good, and the fans see that it’s worth their dollar, then the fans show up and we’ve seen that with the Indians when they were good, we’ve seen that with the Cavaliers and with the Browns.
Joe: But when they’re not good, the fans aren’t going to show up, but that’s true for every town, I mean the Phillies are going through that now, the Phillies were sort of the Indians of this era, recently and now the fans are like, “What? Are you kidding me?”. “No, we know we’re a last place team” and then it shows in their attendance. So I would put Cleveland in the eight to 10, top 10 range sports town. I think Pittsburg is a little bit higher, a little bit more passionate fan base overall in Pittsburg, but I like the Rust Belt background of Cleveland and it’s just a great place to visit and I look forward to coming back there in the future.
Ed: Mister Sports Travel, my couch awaits you.
Thank you for being on Baseball PhD.
Joe: My pleasure.
Farley: And now it’s time for the close of the podcast.
Mark: As we say goodbye to Cleveland.
Farley: And head to the Twin Cities.
Ed: Now it’s time for the close of the podcast, Farley, where are we going next week?
Ed: Minnesota, in fact guys, I have great memories of Minnesota, you two came with me, it was my last ballpark to complete all 30. When we went and saw Target Field, didn’t we say it really- was similar to Progressive Field in Cleveland?
Farley: Just a little more updated.
Mark: Progressive Field is now 20 years old and Target’s only three or four and it had the benefit of 15 years of design enhancements. It was a nice ballpark.
Farley: Ever since we’ve been there I’ve been putting guacamole on my hot dogs.
Ed: Yes, no, it’s very good, so we’re excited about going there but as we stand in Cleveland, let’s end with some Cleveland fun facts. Sometimes when you study your city you learn stuff you didn’t even know, so let’s close with that. In the Cleveland area the first US college to admit students regardless of race, sex, creed or color, Oberlin.
Free home delivery of the mail and the first mailman’s uniform that was invented by Joseph Briggs in 1862.
Mark: Think about that, that’s in the middle of the Civil War.
Ed: No, the Civil War had ended.
Mark: No, it didn’t.
Ed: No, you’re right, Lincoln got elected in 1861, Lincoln got assassinated in what? 1864?
Mark: Maybe, or five. Five. On April 15th.
Ed: Okay, so Abe Lincoln did get to see a mailman. All right.
Mark: I wonder if he mailed in to get his address.
Ed: It was e-mailed. All right, indoor shopping center. The Arcade, downtown, guys.
Farley: How about that?
Ed: We’ve been there.
Mark: I think that that’s the first American indoor shopping center. It’s still there and it’s wonderful, but there are places in Europe that have the same concept, that are older than the Arcade.
Ed: Yes, those no-good Romans and Greeks. Yes, Life Savers Candy was invented in Cleveland by Clarence Crane in 1891.
Mark: I think the Etch A sketch was invented here too.
Farley: That sounds right.
Ed: Farley, let’s all honor him, padded bicycle seats.
Ed: A whole body scanner, an X-ray machine.
Farley: Cleveland Hopkins Airport. No, sorry.
Ed: Dayton C Miller Case School of Applied Science, that’s kind of my Alma Mater, I graduated from Case Western Reserve University. The modern golf ball was invented in Cleveland in 1899.
Mark: And how many dimples does it have?
Farley: All of them. I don’t know, can you count them?
Mark: There is a number.
Farley: Somebody knows.
Mark: We’re talking baseball so we know seams, but not the--
Farley: 88 seams. 88 stitches.
Mark: 88 stitches, that’s right.
Ed: Ongoing form for free speech. The city club, that was invented or that was created in 1912. I’ve been there, Mark’s been there.
Mark: Many times and so--
Ed: Farley, have you been there?
Mark: So have a number of presidents.
Farley: I’m still waiting for them to take my picture down there, to let me back in.
Mark: What kind of joke was that?
Ed: Next. All right. American made standard gasoline automobile in 1898 and the American diesel engine in 1913. The African-American Cultural Center, Karamu House.
Farley: Still standing.
Ed: 1915. The gas mask, by Garrett A. Morgan in 1916 and this list is forgetting the Garrett A. Morgan also invented the first traffic light.
Mark: And a couple of my favorites: Superman, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created Superman in 1933 inside a Cleveland neighborhood.
Ed: The first African-American mayor of a major city was Carl Stokes, when I was a baby lawyer, he was a judge in the Cleveland Municipal Court and I got to have a bench trail with him.
Farley: Was his hair on fire at that point?
Ed: No, that’s Ralph Perk.
Farley: I’m sorry. Apologies.
Mark: And Alan Freed, rock and roll.
Ed: The inventor of the term ‘rock and roll’ and held the first rock and roll concert here in Cleveland, Ohio, The Moondog Ball. And other famous Clevelanders, Ann Hack--
Mark: Hsieh. She’s an actress.
Farley: She’s from Cleveland?
Mark: She’s from Cleveland.
Ed: Arsenio Hall, I knew that, Ben Curtis, he’s a golfer, Bob Hope. I think he’s the ultimate comedian, very clean, very funny, Cy Young, Debra Winger, I didn’t know that, guys. Don King, I knew that. Don Shula, I knew that. Drew Carey, George Steinbrenner, wow, what have happened if he had bought the Indians? Could you see Reggie Jackson as an Indian?
Farley: I guess I could.
Ed: Halle Berry, Henry Mancini.
Mark: And you know Halle Berry was named after a department store.
Ed: Downtown Halle’s?
Mark: Yes. That was what she was named after.
Ed: James Garfield, the 20th president. Henry Sherwin, founder of Sherwin-Williams.
Mark: Joe Walsh.
Ed: Jesse Owens. Take that, Hitler.
Farley: There you go.
Ed: John D. Rockefeller. Now, I’ve been to his grave at Lakeview Cemetery.
Farley: And did you leave a dime?
Ed: I did leave a dime. If you go to his grave, everyone, I guess there was a time that in his wealth he walked around and gave people a dime even though he was the richest man in the world and the dime was still a penny to him, so people mocked him and they put dimes on his tombstone. Langston Hughes, the poet. Michael Symon, who’s alive, he’s the current restaurant tour.
Mark: And the winner of the Iron Chef on The Food Network.
Ed: 9 Inch Nails, the rock band.
Farley: I think they’re still alive.
Ed: I did not know that.
Mark: And Patricia Heaton.
Ed: And her father—
Mark: Is a sports writer for the Plain Dealer.
Ed: He was, I think he retired.
Mark: I think he’s retired.
Ed: Paul Newman, Phil Donahue.
Farley: Also, I think still alive.
Ed: Guys, I miss coming home and watching daytime talk shows and getting angry at Phil Donahue for his left wing messages. Sammy Kaye the bandleader, the O’Jays, Kim Conway, Tom Wilson, cartoonist of Ziggy. Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize for literature. Tracy Chapman, Tris Speaker and Vernon Stouffer, founder of Stouffer’s Food and I believe Tommy from. He was the guy that screwed up the deal with George Steinbrenner and Steinbrenner did not buy the Indians from him because he changed the terms at the last minute and said, “You want 10 million for the Indians? I can buy the Yankees for 12 million” and the rest is history.
Farley: Thanks for listening to Baseball PhD with Ed Kasputis. If you liked this podcast, tell your friends and family to go to baseballphd.net. Be sure to check our archive section for previous podcasts. If you have any brilliant ideas or comments, you can email the show. This has been a Baseball PhD production.
Cleveland Indians Lineup
- Austin Adams
- Cody Allen
- Scott Atchison
- Scott Barnes
- Trevor Bauer
- Carlos Carrasco
- Kyle Crockett
- Nick Hagadone
- T.J. House
- Corey Kluber
- Chen-Chang Lee
- Zach McAllister
- Bryan Price
- Marc Rzepczynski
- Danny Salazar
- Bryan Shaw
- Josh Tomlin
- Chris Gimenez
- Yan Gomes
- Roberto Perez
- Jesus Aguilar
- Mike Aviles
- Lonnie Chisenhall
- Erik Gonzalez
- Jason Kipnis
- Jose Ramirez
- Carlos Santana
- Justin Sellers
- Nick Swisher DL15
- Michael Bourn
- Michael Brantley
- Tyler Holt
- Carlos Moncrief
- David Murphy
- J.B. Shuck
- Zach Walters
- Jason Giambi
- Ryan Raburn
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