Sunday, July 1, 2007

Day 8: Jacobs Field

All photos
of the Jake available for viewing on Flickr.

It was hard to leave the comforts of Peter's Aunt and Uncle's, but early this morning we hit the road to Cleveland. I slept most of the way, but apparently we got there okay. We arrived at the park at about 11:30 and set up the donation box on a corner across from the main arcade leading to the stadium. We did a lot better today, taking in $41.

We then headed into the stadium. The was the first new park that I've visited on the tour and I loved it. There was a lot of activity happening on the arcade since it was kids' day. Once we got into the stadium, we tried obtaining C. C. Sabathia children's mitts, but the giveaway people were not very cooperative. Our seats were only $7/piece walkup, and they were in the 3rd deck of right field, and were surprisingly pretty good seats. They're high enough that you're up in the breeze and can see the whole field. We once again had gigantic drinks at this park, as at Comerica - Erik had a giant Labatt's, and I enjoyed a refreshing margarita in a souvenir cup from the Batter's Eye Bar. With drinks in hand, we enjoyed a rare AL pitchers' duel. The Indians' Cliff Lee gave up 1 run over 8 innings, and Jhonny Perralta had a home run in the win for the home team. It was another beautiful day and we continued to luck out with the weather on this lovely Sunday.

Aesthetically, this was definitely my favorite. Peter still like Comerica better, but enjoyed it much as well. The one weird thing was that in lieu of a second deck, there were three floors of suites stacked on top of each other, which meant that the upper deck was very high up from the field. This park is already over 10 years old and was one of the first built in the "retro style" along with Camden Yards, and has a nice mix of white-pristine, steel aesthetic and old brick towers. We actually got to see the scoreboard from our seats today, which was a very cool one. Overall, the park had an intimate feel like at Comerica, but obviously seemed to have a lot more character since it is a bit older. The lower concourses and Indians hall of fame area were also really cool parts of the park.

After the game, we headed to Peter's friend Bobby's house a few miles east of Cleveland, and from the looks of it, we have a pretty sweet set up here as well. Tonight, it's off to the local pub to watch the All-Star selection show and Sunday Night Baseball, and then it's off to Pittsburgh tomorrow to watch the Crew take on the Pirates.

park stats and rankings:
aesthetics - 10
views from park - 7 (in heart of downtown)
view to field - 7 (very good, except for where we were sitting)
surrounding area - 8 (Gateway Sports Complex)
food variety - 7 (very good variety, but lower deck only - upper was only dogs and 'chos)
nachos - 7
beer - 9 (giant cans of Labatts for $7, several "world beer" stands)
vendor price - 9
ticket price - 9
atmosphere - 7 (Indians drew over 100,000 for the weekend...against the D-Rays...)
walk to park - 6
parking price/proximity - 5 (very close but expensive)
concourses - 8
team shop - 8 (good stuff, but small/crowded)

best food - anything with "Cleveland world-famous mustard"
most unique stadium feature - Batter's Eye Bar
best jumbotron feature - "Rules of the Park" animation
best between-inning feature - Hot Dog race

field dimensions - 330/400/330
starters - James Shields (TB) v. Cliff Lee (CLE)
opponent - Tampa Bay Devil Rays
time of game - 2:39
attendance - 30410
score - 3-2 W
Brewers score that day - 5-1 L

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