Cleveland Stadium

Cleveland Stadium, commonly known as Municipal Stadium or Lakefront Stadium, was a multi-purpose stadium located in Cleveland, Ohio. It was one of the early multi-purpose stadiums, built to accommodate both baseball and football. The stadium opened in 1931 and is best known as the long-time home of the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball, from 1932 to 1993, and the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL), from 1946 to 1995, in addition to hosting other teams, sports, and being a regular concert venue. The stadium was a four-time host of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, one of the host venues of the 1948 and 1954 World Series, and the site of the original Dawg Pound, Red Right 88, and The Drive.

Through most of its tenure as a baseball facility, the stadium was the largest in Major League Baseball by seating capacity, seating over 78,000 initially and over 74,000 in its final years. It was superseded only by the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum from 1958 to 1961, while it was the temporary home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and by Mile High Stadium in 1993, the temporary home of the expansion Colorado Rockies. For football, the stadium seated approximately 80,000 people, ranking as one of the larger seating capacities in the NFL.

Former Browns owner Art Modell took over control of the stadium from the city in the 1970s and while his organization made improvements to the facility, it continued to decline. The Indians played their final game at the stadium in October 1993 and moved to Jacobs Field the following season. Although plans were announced to renovate the stadium for use by the Browns, in 1995 Modell announced his intentions to move the team to Baltimore citing the state of Cleveland Stadium as a major factor. The Browns played their final game at the stadium in December 1995. As part of an agreement between Modell, the city of Cleveland, and the NFL, the Browns were officially deactivated for three seasons and the city was required to construct a new stadium on the Cleveland Stadium site. Cleveland Stadium was demolished in 1996 to make way for FirstEnergy Stadium, which opened in 1999. Much of the debris from the demolition was placed in Lake Erie to create an artificial reef.

Cleveland Stadium
Lakefront Stadium
Municipal Stadium
ClevelandMunicipalStadium1993Interior
Final baseball season, September 1993
Location1085 West 3rd Street
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
OwnerCity of Cleveland
OperatorCleveland Stadium Corporation
CapacityBaseball: 74,438 (1993)
 originally 78,000 (1932)
Football: 81,000 (1995)
Field sizeLeft Field – 322 ft (98 m)
Left-Center – 385 ft (117 m)
Center Field – 400 ft (122 m)
Right-Center – 385 ft (117 m)
Right Field – 322 ft (98 m)
Backstop – 60 ft (18 m)
Cleveland Municipal Stadium
Cleveland Stadium is located in Cleveland
Cleveland Stadium
Cleveland Stadium is located in Ohio
Cleveland Stadium
Cleveland Stadium is located in the United States
Cleveland Stadium
Coordinates41°30′24″N 81°41′50″W / 41.50667°N 81.69722°WCoordinates: 41°30′24″N 81°41′50″W / 41.50667°N 81.69722°W
NRHP reference #87002287
Added to NRHPNovember 13, 1987
SurfaceNatural grass
Construction
Broke groundJune 24, 1930
OpenedJuly 1, 1931
Renovated1947 (inner fence installed)
1967 (new seats)
1974 (new scoreboard, suites)
ClosedDecember 17, 1995
DemolishedNovember 4, 1996
Construction costUS$3 million
($49.4 million in 2018 dollars[1])
ArchitectWalker & Weeks
Osborn Engineering Company
General contractorBiltmore Construction[2]
Tenants
Cleveland Indians (MLB) (1932–1933, 1937*–1993)
Cleveland Browns (AAFC/NFL) (1946–1995)
Cleveland Rams (AFL/NFL) (1936–1937, 1939–1941)
Cleveland Indians (NFL) (1931)
Western Reserve Red Cats (NCAA) (1933)[3]
John Carroll Blue Streaks (NCAA) (1933–1942, 1946–1951)
Cleveland Stokers (NASL) (1967–1968)
Great Lakes Bowl (NCAA) (1947)
Weekend, holiday, and night games from 1937 to 1946

History

The impetus for Cleveland Municipal Stadium came from city manager William R. Hopkins, Cleveland Indians' president Ernest Barnard, real estate magnate and future Indians' president Alva Bradley, and the Van Sweringen brothers, who thought that the attraction of a stadium would benefit area commerce in general and their own commercial interests in downtown Cleveland in particular.[4] However, some have incorrectly stated that it was built in a failed bid to attract the 1932 Summer Olympics, which had been awarded to Los Angeles in 1923,[5] long before ground was broken on the stadium.[6] Another common misconception is that Cleveland Municipal Stadium was a Works Progress Administration project; in fact, the WPA was not created until 1935, four years after the stadium was built.[7]

In November 1928, Cleveland voters passed by 112,448 to 76,975, a 59% passage rate, with 55% needed to pass, "a US$2.5 million levy for a fireproof stadium on the Lakefront." Actual construction costs overran that amount by $500,000.[8]

Construction

Built during the administrations of city managers William R. Hopkins and Daniel E. Morgan, it was designed by the architectural firms of Walker and Weeks and by Osborn Engineering Company. It featured an early use of structural aluminum. The stadium was dedicated on July 1, 1931. On July 3, 1931, it hosted a boxing match for the National Boxing Association World Heavyweight Championship between Max Schmeling and Young Stribling, with 37,000 fans in attendance. Schmeling retained his title by a technical knockout victory in the 15th round.

The Donald Gray Gardens were installed on the stadium's north side in 1936 as part of the Great Lakes Exposition.[9] They remained until the construction of Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Seating capacity

Baseball
Years Capacity
1932–1949
78,811
1950–1966
73,811
1967–1968
74,056
1969–1975
76,966
1976–1980
76,713
1981
76,685
1982–1988
74,208
1989–1993
74,483
Football
Years Capacity
1932–1946
83,000[10]
1947
77,563[10]
1948–1951
77,707[10]
1952–1961
78,207[10]
1962–1964
78,166[10]
1965
77,096[10]
1966
77,124[10]
1967–1974
79,282[10]
1975–1976
80,165[10]
1977
80,233[10]
1975–1980
80,385[10]
1981–1982
80,322[10]
1983–1991
80,098[10]
1992–1995
78,512[11]
6a29310r
Cleveland Municipal Stadium under construction in 1931

Tenants

Indians

The stadium was built for football as well as for the Cleveland Indians, who played their first game there on July 31, 1932, losing to the Philadelphia Athletics' great pitcher Lefty Grove 1-0 while attracting a then-major-league-record crowd of 80,184.[12] The Indians played all of their games at the stadium from the middle of the 1932 season through 1933. However, the players and fans complained about the huge outfield, which reduced the number of home runs. Moreover, as the Great Depression worsened, attendance plummeted.[13] The Indians returned to their smaller previous home, League Park, for all of the 1934 and 1935 seasons.

The Indians used the stadium to host the 1935 Major League Baseball All-Star Game and returned to the stadium in 1936 to host the New York Yankees on August 2 as part of the Great Lakes Exposition, drawing a crowd of 65,342. In 1937, the Indians began playing Sunday and holiday games at Cleveland Stadium during the summer, adding selected important games there in 1938. League Park lacked field lighting, so the emergence of night baseball in the 1930s led to the addition of night games to the schedule after lights were installed at the stadium in 1939. By 1940, the Indians played most of their home slate at the stadium, abandoning League Park entirely after the 1946 season. They remained at Cleveland Stadium until the end of the 1993 season, after which they moved to Jacobs Field.[14]

ClevelandMunicipalStadium1993Outfield
View of center field in 1993. Lake Erie can be seen just outside the stadium. Visible beyond the outfield wall is a portion of the original (larger) outfield area.

The stadium foreshadowed problems that would emerge 40 years later when cookie-cutter stadiums were in vogue. Due to the fundamentally different sizes and shapes of baseball and football fields, the baseball sight lines generally left much to be desired. The original baseball playing field was so large that an inner fence was constructed in 1947 to cut down the size of the spacious outfield. Even after it was put in, the distance markers on the bleacher walls remained visible for many years; it was 470 feet from home plate to the bleachers in straightaway center field. No player ever hit a home run into the center field bleachers. According to his autobiography, Veeck – As in Wreck, Indians owner Bill Veeck would move the fence in or out, varying by as much as 15 feet, depending on how it would favor the Indians, a practice that ended when the American League specifically legislated against moving fences during the course of a given season.

Like some other facilities built before warning tracks became standard, the stadium had an earthen berm in front of the center field wall. After the inner fence was installed, the berm was still visible during football season.

The facility, located just south of Lake Erie, was known for the biting cold winds that would blow into the stadium in winter, as well as during much of the spring and fall. Because of its proximity to the lake during hot summer nights, its lights attracted swarms of midges and mayflies. Game 2 of the 2007 American League Division Series at Jacobs Field on October 5, 2007, brought back memories of the old stadium, when swarms of midges (misidentified by the television announcers as mayflies) infested the field, particularly the pitcher's mound.

The Indians set three Major League attendance records during the 1948 season, when they won the American League pennant and World Series behind pitcher Bob Feller and shortstop/player-manager Lou Boudreau. That season, Cleveland had the highest single season attendance, 2,620,627, which was not eclipsed until 1962 by the Los Angeles Dodgers,[15] largest regular season night game attendance of 72,434 for the first major league start of Satchel Paige,[16] and biggest World Series game attendance of 86,288 for game 5 on October 10, 1948.[17] However, during the Indians' lean years from the 1960s through the 1990s, they rarely attracted more than 30,000 people, and even crowds of 40,000 looked sparse in the cavernous environment. After the Indians were eliminated from the pennant race in 1949, as a black humor-themed stunt they held a mock funeral procession on the field and buried their 1948 pennant behind the center field fence.[18] Due to the large size of the facility, the Indians began using a bullpen car in 1950.[19]

In addition to the 1935 MLB All-Star Game, Cleveland Stadium also hosted three additional all-star games: 1954, 1963, and 1981. Cleveland Stadium and Yankee Stadium are the only venues to host four MLB all-star games. On May 15, 1981, Len Barker threw a perfect game at the stadium, the second in franchise history and eighth in modern Major League history. The final Indians home game at Cleveland Stadium was held October 3, 1993, a 4–0 loss to the Chicago White Sox in front of 72,390 fans. During the game, fans, led by comedian Bob Hope, who grew up an Indians fan and was once a part-owner, sang a version of his signature song "Thanks for the Memory" with special lyrics for the occasion.[20]

Browns

Cleveland Municipal Stadium last game played in the stadium December 17, 1995
During the last Browns game played in the stadium, December 17, 1995, against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Cleveland Browns, originally members of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC), began playing at the facility in 1946, and played there through 1995. The stadium was the site of the AAFC Championship game in 1946, 1948 and 1949, all Browns wins. The Browns joined the NFL in 1950 and hosted the NFL Championship Game in 1950, 1952, 1954, 1964, and 1968, winning titles in 1950, 1954, and 1964.

The first Browns game at the stadium was also the first AAFC game, when the Browns hosted the Miami Seahawks on September 6, 1946. The Browns won the game 44–0 and drew 60,135 fans, what was then a record for a professional football crowd. During the 1980s, the center field bleachers at the east end of the stadium were home to many of the club's most avid fans and became known as the Dawg Pound after the barks that fans made to disrupt opposing teams' offensive plays. The fans were copying Browns players Hanford Dixon and Frank Minnifield, who frequently appeared to bark to each other and to the opposition. Some of the fans even wore dog masks and threw dog biscuits at opposing players. The Dawg Pound was included in the design of FirstEnergy Stadium, where the east end zone also has bleacher seating.

The stadium was also the site of two notable moments in Cleveland sports and Browns history. In a 1981 divisional playoff game on January 4, Browns quarterback Brian Sipe was intercepted in the end zone with less than a minute remaining in the game, resulting in a 14–12 loss to the Oakland Raiders. The game has since been referred to by the name of the pass play, Red Right 88. Six years later, during the 1987 AFC Championship game on January 11, John Elway led the Denver Broncos on what is referred to as The Drive, a 98-yard touchdown drive with 5:32 left that tied the game and sent it into overtime. The Broncos ultimately prevailed 23–20.

The final game in the stadium was held December 17, 1995, an emotional 26–10 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, the Browns' final game before the franchise was officially deactivated until 1999, though the team actually moved to Baltimore and continued to play as the Ravens. At the end of that game, many fans cut and removed their seats.[21]

Football Indians and Rams

Prior to the arrival of the Browns, the stadium was briefly the home field for two other NFL teams, the Cleveland Indians in 1931, and the Cleveland Rams from 1936 to 1937 and again from 1939 to 1941. The football Indians played two home games in their 1931 season, a 6-0 win over the Brooklyn Dodgers and a 14-0 loss to the Chicago Cardinals.[22] The team drew a crowd of around only 2,000 spectators for the September 26th game against Brooklyn and 10,000 for the loss to the Cardinals on November 8.[23][24]

The Rams were founded in 1936 as members of the second American Football League and joined the NFL in 1937. They played home games at the stadium their first two seasons, before moving to the smaller Shaw Stadium in 1938. The Rams returned to the stadium in 1939 and played home games there through the 1941 season before moving to League Park for the remainder of their time in Cleveland. The team returned to the stadium one last time to host the 1945 NFL Championship Game, a 15–14 win in what was the final Rams game in Cleveland before the team relocated to Los Angeles.

Records and milestones

  • July 1, 1931 – Dedication
  • July 3, 1931 – Opening event: World Heavyweight Championship boxing match between Max Schmeling and Young Stribling, with 37,000 fans in attendance.
  • July 31, 1932 – First Cleveland Indians game, vs. Philadelphia Athletics (loss, 1-0); pitched by Mel Harder[25]
  • December 16, 1945 – The Cleveland Rams defeated the Washington Redskins 15-14, to win the NFL championship. Twenty-seven days later the Rams moved to Los Angeles.
  • December 24, 1950 – The Browns defeat the Los Angeles Rams 30-28 in the 1950 NFL Championship Game.
  • December 28, 1952 – The Detroit Lions defeat the Browns 17-7 in the 1952 NFL Championship Game.
  • September 12, 1954 – A league record 84,587 people attended a Yankees-Indians game.
  • December 26, 1954 - The Browns defeat the Lions 56-10 in the 1954 NFL Championship Game.
  • April 19, 1960 – The Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians played 15 innings on Opening Day, tying the record for the longest Opening-Day game.
  • June 17, 1960 – Ted Williams hits his 500th career home run.
  • December 27, 1964 – The Browns defeat the Baltimore Colts 27-0 in the 1964 NFL Championship Game.
  • August 14, 1966 – The Beatles perform at the stadium.
  • June 21, 1970 – Detroit's César Gutiérrez got seven hits in seven at bats in 12 innings.
  • September 21, 1970 - The first ever Monday Night Football game is played, with the Browns defeating the New York Jets.
  • June 4, 1974 – Ten Cent Beer Night: The Indians host the Texas Rangers while promoting unlimited beer for $.10/cup for the fans in order to attract fans to the stadium. Due to the rowdiness of the intoxicated fans, the Indians were forced to forfeit the game.
  • April 8, 1975 - MLB First Black Manager: Hall-of-Famer Frank Robinson made his debut as the first black manager in the history of Major League Baseball. Robinson, in the latter stages of his career, had been acquired as a player in the last month of the previous season. He served that Opening Day as a player-manager, hitting a home run to add to the historic day, helping lead the Indians to a 5-3 win over the Yankees before over 56,000 fans.
  • June 25, 1977 – 83,199 people attend a concert by the British rock group Pink Floyd.
  • January 4, 1981 – The Browns lost their divisional playoff game against the Oakland Raiders when an interception occurred during a play called Red Right 88. The Browns only needed a field goal to take the lead but had an ailing kicker.
  • May 15, 1981 – Len Barker's perfect game: Len Barker pitched the tenth perfect game in baseball history
  • August 21, 1986 – Boston's Spike Owen tied a Major League record by scoring six runs
  • January 11, 1987 – The Drive: In one of Cleveland's many sports disappointments, John Elway leads the Denver Broncos 98 yards down the field for the tying score late in the AFC Championship Game. Denver wins in overtime, 23-20, earning the right to play in Super Bowl XXI
  • October 3, 1993 – Last Cleveland Indians game, vs. Chicago White Sox (loss, 4-0)
  • December 17, 1995 – Last Cleveland Browns game, vs. Cincinnati Bengals (win, 26–10)
  • December 3, 1996 – Stadium catches fire during demolition
  • March 1, 1997 – Demolition Ends

Other events

College football

The only Great Lakes Bowl was held there in 1947.

The stadium hosted the annual Notre Dame/Navy college football game 11 times: in 1932, 1934, 1939, 1942, 1943, 1945, 1947, 1950, 1952, 1976 and 1978. The games were well attended, with an average attendance of 69,730 and a high of 84,090 fans for the 1947 game, which was won by Notre Dame 27-0.

Local college teams, including Western Reserve Red Cats, Case Tech Rough Riders, John Carroll Blue Streaks,[26] and Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets often used the stadium for home games and local matchups, especially during the 1930s and 1940s when the city Big Four Conference was strong.[27] Of the 60 all-time Big Four matchups, 22 were played at Cleveland Stadium, the most of any venue.[28]

The Illinois Fighting Illini played the Penn State Nittany Lions there in 1959. The Ohio State Buckeyes played in the stadium four times, the first three as the home team during World War II. The first was in a 1942 win over Illinois before 68,656, the second a 1943 loss to Purdue, and the third a 1944 victory over Illinois. The final college football contest played there was on October 19, 1991, when the Northwestern Wildcats played a neutral site "home" game against the Buckeyes. While Northwestern received the home team's share of the gate receipts, Buckeye fans made up the vast majority of the crowd.[29]

Concerts

In addition to sporting events, the stadium hosted a number of other events including concerts. The first concert held at the stadium, featuring the Beatles, took place in 1966. From 1974 to 1980, the World Series of Rock concerts were held each summer featuring acts such as the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, the Beach Boys and Aerosmith. The Rolling Stones' July 1, 1978 concert of 82,238 attendees was reportedly the first concert to gross over $1 million.[30]

In the 1980s and 1990s, the stadium hosted concerts by the Jacksons, Bruce Springsteen, U2, the Who and Paul McCartney, plus more concerts by Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones.

On September 2, 1995, the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was celebrated with an all-star concert which featured Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Jerry Lee Lewis and others.[31]

Graham Crusade
The stadium hosts a 1994 Billy Graham crusade

Religious events

The stadium also hosted numerous religious services. Its most heavily attended event was the Roman Catholic Church's Seventh Eucharistic Congress, hosted by the Diocese of Cleveland in 1935, which attracted 75,000 to a midnight mass on September 24, 1935 and an estimated 125,000 to Eucharistic service the following day.[32] One of the stadium's last events was a Billy Graham crusade, held in 1994.

Popular culture

Several scenes for the motion picture, The Fortune Cookie, were filmed during the game between the Browns and the visiting Minnesota Vikings on October 31, 1965. Much of the 1949 movie The Kid from Cleveland, in which Bob Feller, Lou Boudreau, Bill Veeck and Satchel Paige played themselves, was filmed there. Despite being set in the stadium, the 1989 motion picture Major League was not filmed in the stadium. While aerial distance shots of the stadium were used, Milwaukee County Stadium, whose grandstand interior looked similar to that of Municipal Stadium, was used for filming.[33] Some scenes in the 1991 made-for-TV biopic Babe Ruth, starring Stephen Lang as Ruth and with a cameo by Pete Rose as Ty Cobb, were filmed there.[34]

Demise

The stadium was an economic drain on the City of Cleveland, which owned it and originally operated it. In 1973, then-Browns owner Art Modell signed a 25-year lease to operate Cleveland Municipal Stadium.[35] Modell's newly formed company, Stadium Corporation, assumed the expenses of operations from the city, freeing up tax dollars for other purposes.[36] Also, Modell would pay an annual rent of $150,000 for the first five years and $200,000 afterwards to the city. In exchange, Modell would receive all revenue generated by the stadium. Stadium Corp invested in improvements, including new electronic scoreboards and luxury suites.[35] However, the stadium's inadequacy was becoming apparent in any event; chunks of concrete were falling off and the pilings were starting to petrify.[37]

Modell, mistakenly believing that his revenues were not endangered, refused to participate in the Gateway Project that built a new ballpark for the Indians and a new arena for the Cavaliers.[38] Modell's assumptions proved incorrect, and Stadium Corp.'s suite revenues declined sharply when the Indians moved from the stadium to Jacobs Field in 1994.[36] The following year, Modell announced plans to move the Browns to Baltimore after the 1995 season.

Modell's move of the Browns breached the team's lease, and the City of Cleveland sued. As part of the settlement, the city agreed to demolish Cleveland Stadium and build a new stadium on the same site. Modell agreed to leave the Browns' name, colors, and history in Cleveland, and the NFL agreed to have a resurrected Browns team by 1999, either by relocation or expansion. Demolition on Cleveland Stadium began in November 1996 and was completed in early 1997. 15,000 short tons (14,000 t) of demolition debris was dumped into Lake Erie to create three artificial reefs for fishermen and divers, offshore of Cleveland and neighboring Lakewood. Construction on the new stadium began later in 1997 and it opened in August 1999 as Cleveland Browns Stadium.[39][40]

References

  1. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  2. ^ "History, Legacy...and Today". Biltmore Construction. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  3. ^ http://www.case.edu/its/archives/Seasons/wfoot1933.htm
  4. ^ Lewis, Franklin (2006). The Cleveland Indians. Kent State University Press reprint from Putnam. pp. 166–167. ISBN 978-0-87338-885-6.
  5. ^ Browne, F.G., ed. (1933). The Games of the Xth Olympiad, Los Angeles 1932 Official Report (PDF). Los Angeles, California: Xth Olympiad Committee of the Games of Los Angeles, U.S.A. 1932, Ltd. pp. 37–38. OCLC 1437448. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  6. ^ Pahigaian, Josh; O'Connell, Kevin (2004). The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip. Guilford, Connecticut: Lyons Press. p. 235. ISBN 1-59228-159-1.
  7. ^ Torry, Jack (1996). Endless Summers: The Fall and Rise of the Cleveland Indians. Diamond Communications. p. 207. ISBN 0912083980. A peculiar legend has emerged that Cleveland Stadium was a WPA project designed to attract the Olympics.
  8. ^ Cormack, George (1997). Municipal Stadium: Memories on the Lakefront, Vol. 1. Cleveland, Ohio: Instant Concepts, Inc. p. 2. ISBN 1-882171-21-7.
  9. ^ "Donald Gray Gardens". Cleveland Historical. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Gordon, Roger (2015). Cleveland Browns A - Z [Cleveland Municipal/Cleveland Stadium Seating Capacities]. New York: Sports Publishing. ISBN 978-1-61321-858-7. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  11. ^ Sanchez, Joseph (February 16, 1992). "Pulling His Own Strings Henshaw Carries Top Credentials". The Denver Post. p. 15B. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  12. ^ Cormack, op.cit. p.17.
  13. ^ Clem's Baseball ~ League Park (IV)
  14. ^ Lowry, Phillip (2005). Green Cathedrals. New York City: Walker & Company. ISBN 0-8027-1562-1.
  15. ^ Toman, James A. (1997). Cleveland Stadium: The Last Chapter. Cleveland, Ohio: Cleveland Landmarks Press, Inc. p. 87. ISBN 0-936760-10-9.
  16. ^ Cormack, op.cit. p.59.
  17. ^ Cormack, op.cit. p.58.
  18. ^ "'Mortician' Veeck Buries 1948 Flag" The Plain Dealer September 24, 1949: 14
  19. ^ Lukas, Paul (October 19, 2007). "Lukas: Long live the bullpen car - ESPN Page 2". Espn.com. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  20. ^ "1993 Cleveland Indians Schedule and Results". Baseball-Reference.com. 2016. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
  21. ^ Exner, Rich (December 17, 2009). "This Day in Browns History: Original Browns win farewell game in Cleveland Stadium". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  22. ^ "1931 Cleveland Indians". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  23. ^ "Brooklyn Dodgers 0 at Cleveland Indians 6". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  24. ^ "Chicago Cardinals 14 at Cleveland Indians 6". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  25. ^ Fox, John L. (September 1993). I Pitched Opening Game at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Baseball Digest. p. 82. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
  26. ^ http://library.la84.org/SportsLibrary/CFHSN/CFHSNv23/CFHSNv23n3d.pdf
  27. ^ Watterson, John S. (2000). College Football: History, Spectacle, Controversy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 256. ISBN 0-8018-6428-3.
  28. ^ Krsolovic & Fritz. "League Park, Historic Home of Cleveland Baseball 1891–1946", McFarland & Co., 2013, pp. 33-34.
  29. ^ Toman, James A. (1994). Cleveland Stadium: Sixty Years of Memories. Cleveland, Ohio: Cleveland Landmarks Press, Inc. pp. 45–46. ISBN 0-936760-09-5.
  30. ^ Toman, op.cit. pp.59-65.
  31. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0321753/
  32. ^ Toman, op.cit. pp.45-46.
  33. ^ A partial list of films in Greater Cleaveland
  34. ^ Creamer, Robert W. (September 30, 1991). "The Babe Goes Hollywood". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  35. ^ a b Munson, Lester (December 4, 1995). "A Busted Play". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
  36. ^ a b Henkel 2005, p. 102
  37. ^ Morgan, Jon (December 17, 1995). "Inside the Browns Deal". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
  38. ^ Naymik, Mark (September 13, 2012). "Art Modell Was Offered a Stadium for the Cleveland Browns and Passed". The Plain Dealer. Cleveland. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  39. ^ Ohio Coastal Atlas (PDF). Ohio Department of Natural Resources. p. 10. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  40. ^ Wendling, Mike (August 19, 1999). "Stadium finds new life as a lake reef". Cincinnati Enquirer. Associated Press. Retrieved October 4, 2016.

Bibliography

  • Leventhal, Josh.(2000) Take me out to the ballpark: an illustrated tour of baseball parks past and present. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc. p. 59.

External links

Preceded by
League Park
Home of the Cleveland Indians
1932 –1933
1936 – 1993 (shared with League Park until 1946)
Succeeded by
League Park
Jacobs Field
Preceded by
first stadium
Home of the Cleveland Browns
1946 – 1995
Succeeded by
Cleveland Browns Stadium
Preceded by
first stadium
Shaw Stadium
League Park
Home of the Cleveland Rams
1936 – 1937
1939 – 1941
1945
Succeeded by
Shaw Stadium
League Park
Last Stadium
Preceded by
Polo Grounds
Crosley Field
Wrigley Field
Dodger Stadium
Host of the All-Star Game
1935
1954
1963
1981
Succeeded by
Braves Field
County Stadium
Shea Stadium
Olympic Stadium
Preceded by
Miami Orange Bowl
Host of AFC Championship Game
1987
Succeeded by
Mile High Stadium
1935 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1935 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the third playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 8, 1935, at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, hosted by the Cleveland Indians of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 4–1.

1945 NFL Championship Game

The 1945 National Football League Championship Game was the 13th National Football League (NFL) championship game. The Cleveland Rams defeated the Washington Redskins, 15–14, at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, on December 16.This was the last game before the Rams moved west to Los Angeles, California One play which provided the Rams' margin of victory led to a significant rule change in professional football.

Additionally, It was the coldest NFL championship game up to that time, with a temperature of −8 °F (−22 °C)

1946 Cleveland Browns season

The 1946 Cleveland Browns season was the team's first in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). The Browns, coached by Paul Brown, ended the year with a record of 12–2, winning the AAFC's Western Division. Led by quarterback Otto Graham, fullback Marion Motley and ends Dante Lavelli and Mac Speedie, the team won the first AAFC championship game against the New York Yankees.

The Browns were founded by Arthur B. McBride, a Cleveland taxi-cab tycoon, as a charter franchise in the new AAFC. McBride in 1945 hired Brown, a successful coach at the high school and college levels. Brown, who was serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, began to assemble a roster as the team prepared to begin play in 1946. After beating the Brooklyn Dodgers in an exhibition game, Cleveland opened the regular season against the Miami Seahawks at Cleveland Stadium on September 6, winning 44–0. The Browns proceeded to win six more games before losing for the first time in October against the San Francisco 49ers at home by a score of 34–20. Cleveland lost a second game in a row against the Los Angeles Dons the following week, but rebounded to win the final five games of the season, including a 66–14 victory over the Dodgers. Cleveland finished with the league's best record and a spot in the championship game against the Yankees. The Browns won the game 14–9.

Lavelli led the AAFC in receiving with 843 yards and 8 touchdowns, while placekicker Lou Groza led the league in points scored, with 84. Graham had the league's best passing average, with 10.5 yards per attempt. His quarterback rating of 112.1 was the highest in professional football history until Joe Montana surpassed it in 1989. Cleveland played all of its home games in Cleveland Stadium. The 1946 Browns set a professional football record with 67 defensive takeaways; the record still stands as of 2019.

1947 Cleveland Browns season

The 1947 Cleveland Browns season was the team's second in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). Coached by Paul Brown, Cleveland finished with a 12–1–1 win–loss–tie record, winning the western division and the AAFC championship for the second straight year. As in 1946, quarterback Otto Graham led an offensive attack that featured fullback Marion Motley and ends Dante Lavelli and Mac Speedie.

After a number of coaching changes and roster moves in the offseason, including signing punter Horace Gillom and fullback Tony Adamle, the Browns began with a 30–14 win over the Buffalo Bills, the first of a string of five victories. The team lost its only game of the season to the Los Angeles Dons in October. Five more wins followed before a come-from-behind tie in November with the New York Yankees, the team Cleveland defeated in the 1946 AAFC championship. The Browns won their last two games, including a 42–0 shutout against the Baltimore Colts in the finale, to set up a championship game rematch with the Yankees in December. Cleveland beat the Yankees 14–3 in New York on an icy field to win its second championship in a row.

Graham was named the AAFC's most valuable player after leading the league in passing yards, with 2,753, and passing touchdowns, with 25. Speedie led the league in receiving, and several other Cleveland players were named to sportswriters' All-Pro lists. Brown was named the league's coach of the year by Pro Football Illustrated. The Browns played all their home games in Cleveland Stadium, attracting an average crowd of 55,848, the best home attendance record in both the AAFC and the competing National Football League (NFL).

1948 World Series

The 1948 World Series saw the Cleveland Indians against the Boston Braves. The Braves had won the National League pennant for the first time since the "Miracle Braves" team of 1914, while the Indians had spoiled a chance for the only all-Boston World Series by winning a one-game playoff against the Boston Red Sox for the American League flag. Though superstar pitcher Bob Feller failed to win either of his two starts, the Indians won the Series in six games to capture their second championship and their first since 1920 (as well as their last to the present date).

It was the first World Series to be televised beyond the previous year's limited New York-Schenectady-Philadelphia-Baltimore-Washington network and was announced by famed sportcasters Red Barber, Tom Hussey (in Boston) and Van Patrick (in Cleveland). This was the second appearance in the Fall Classic for both teams, with the Indians' lone previous appearance coming in a 1920 win against the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Braves' lone previous appearance coming in a 1914 win against the Philadelphia Athletics. Consequently, this was the first, and to date only, World Series in which both participating teams had previously played in, but not yet lost, a previous World Series. Currently, this phenomenon can only be repeated if either the Miami Marlins or the Arizona Diamondbacks play against either the Toronto Blue Jays or the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in a future World Series.

Television coverage of the World Series increased this year, but due to the medium still being in its infancy coverage was strictly regional. Games played in Boston could only be seen in the Northeast, while when the series shifted to Cleveland those games were the first to be aired in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Detroit and Toledo.

This was the only World Series from 1947 to 1958 not to feature a New York team, and also the last World Series until 1957 not won by a New York team (which the Braves won over the Yankees, after they had relocated to Milwaukee). The teams would meet again in the 1995 World Series won by the Braves—by then relocated to Atlanta. This was the first World Series and the last until 2016 where the series score was even.

1954 World Series

The 1954 World Series matched the National League champion New York Giants against the American League champion Cleveland Indians. The Giants swept the Series in four games to win their first championship since 1933, defeating the heavily favored Indians, who had won an AL-record 111 games in the regular season; it has since been broken by the 1998 New York Yankees (114) and again by the 2001 Seattle Mariners (116, tying the 1906 Chicago Cubs for the most wins ever). The Series is perhaps best-remembered for "The Catch", a sensational running catch made by Giants center fielder Willie Mays in Game 1, snaring a long drive by Vic Wertz near the outfield wall with his back to the infield. It is also remembered for utility player Dusty Rhodes' clutch hitting in three of the four games, including his walk-off hit for Monte Irvin that won Game 1, probably the best-known hit to be described as a "Chinese home run", since it barely cleared the 258-foot (79 m) right-field fence at the Polo Grounds. Giants manager Leo Durocher, who had managed teams to three National League championships, won his first and only World Series title in his managerial career. The Giants, who would move west to become the San Francisco Giants, would not win a World Series again until the 2010 season.

This was the first time the Cleveland Indians had been swept in a World Series and the first time the New York Giants had swept an opponent without qualification. They had won four games without a loss in the 1922 World Series, but there was also one tie. Game 2 was the last World Series and playoff game at the Polo Grounds, because the Giants did not win another pennant until after their move to San Francisco and because the Mets did not reach the postseason until after they moved to Shea Stadium. Game 4 was the last World Series and playoff game at Cleveland Stadium; the Indians did not return to the World Series or playoffs until 1995, a year after Jacobs Field opened.

1962 Cleveland Browns season

The 1962 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 13th season with the National Football League.

1964 Cleveland Browns season

The 1964 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 19th season, and 15th season with the National Football League. The Browns won the NFL Championship, despite having not made the playoffs in six seasons.

1964 NFL Championship Game

The 1964 National Football League Championship Game was the 32nd annual championship game, held on December 27 at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. With an attendance of 79,544, it was the first NFL title game to be televised by CBS.

The game marked the last championship won by a major-league professional sports team from Cleveland until 2016 when the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Finals. As of 2018 this is the last championship ever won by the Cleveland Browns.

1976 Cleveland Browns season

The 1976 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 27th season with the National Football League. The Browns were coached by second year coach Forrest Gregg, and ended their season with a record of 9–5, being third in their division. The team's top draft choice was running back Mike Pruitt. Brian Sipe firmly took control at quarterback. Sipe had been inserted into the lineup after a Mike Phipps injury in the season-opening win against the New York Jets on September 12. After a 1–3 start brought visions of another disastrous year, the Browns jolted the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers with an 18–16 victory on October 10. Third-string quarterback Dave Mays helped lead the team to that victory, while defensive end Joe "Turkey" Jones' pile-driving sack of quarterback Terry Bradshaw fueled the heated rivalry between the two teams. That win was the first of eight in the next nine weeks, helping put the Browns in contention for the AFC playoffs. A loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the regular season finale cost them a share of the division title, but running back Greg Pruitt continued his outstanding play by rushing for exactly 1,000 yards, his second-straight four-digit season.

1981 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1981 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 52nd playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on August 9, 1981, at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, the home of the Cleveland Indians of the American League.

This was one of only two All-Star Games to be played outside the month of July (the other being the second 1959 game). The game was originally to be played on July 14, but was cancelled due to the players' strike lasting from June 12 to July 31. It was then brought back as a prelude to the second half of the season, which began the following day. At 72,086 people in attendance, it broke the stadium's own record of 69,751 set in 1954, setting the still-standing record for the highest attendance in an All Star Game.

Cleveland Stadium set a new All-Star Game record by hosting its fourth (and ultimately, final) Midsummer Classic. By the time Indians played host to the All-Star Game for the fifth time in 1997, they had moved to Jacobs Field.

Cleveland Browns relocation controversy

The Cleveland Browns relocation controversy, sometimes called "The Move" by fans, was the decision by then-Browns owner Art Modell to move the National Football League (NFL)'s Cleveland Browns from its long-time home of Cleveland to Baltimore during the 1995 NFL season. Subsequent legal actions by the city of Cleveland and Browns season ticket holders led the NFL to broker a compromise that saw the Browns history, records, and intellectual property remain in Cleveland. In return, Modell was permitted to move his football organization to Baltimore and establish the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens are officially regarded by the NFL as an expansion team that began play in 1996. The city of Cleveland agreed to demolish Cleveland Stadium and build a new stadium on the same site, and the NFL agreed to reactivate the Browns by the 1999 season by adding a team or moving one from another city. In 1998, the NFL decided to create a new team and sold it to a new owner for $530 million. The new Browns recruited players through an expansion draft and resumed play in 1999.

This compromise, which was unprecedented in North American professional sports, has since been cited in franchise moves and agreements in other leagues, including ones in Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League.

FirstEnergy Stadium

FirstEnergy Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, United States, primarily for American football. It is the home field of the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL), and serves as a venue for other events such as college and high school football, soccer, and concerts. It opened in 1999 as Cleveland Browns Stadium and was renovated in two phases in early 2014 and 2015. The initial seating capacity was listed at 73,200 people, but following the first phase of the renovation project in 2014, seating capacity was reduced to 67,431. Since 2017, capacity is listed at 67,895. The stadium sits on 31 acres (13 ha) of land between Lake Erie and the Cleveland Memorial Shoreway in the North Coast Harbor area of downtown Cleveland, adjacent to the Great Lakes Science Center and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The site was previously the location of Cleveland Stadium from 1931 to 1996.

League Park

League Park was a baseball park located in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It is situated at the northeast corner of E. 66th Street and Lexington Avenue in the Hough neighborhood. It was built in 1891 as a wood structure and rebuilt using concrete and steel in 1910. The park was home to a number of professional sports teams, most notably the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball. League Park was first home to the Cleveland Spiders of the National League from 1891 to 1899 and of the Cleveland Lake Shores of the Western League, the minor league predecessor to the Indians, in 1900. During 1914-1915, League Park also hosted the Toledo Mud Hens of the minor league American Association, under the name Cleveland Bearcats and then Spiders. In the late 1940s, the park was also the home field of the Cleveland Buckeyes of the Negro American League.

In addition to baseball, League Park was also used for American football, serving as the home field for several successive teams in the Ohio League and early National Football League (NFL) during the 1920s and 1930s, as well as for college football. Most notably, the Cleveland Rams of the NFL played at League Park in 1937 and for much of the early 1940s. Later in the 1940s, the Cleveland Browns used League Park as a practice field.

The Western Reserve Red Cats college football team from Western Reserve University played a majority of homes games at League Park from 1929 to 1941, and all home games after joining the Mid-American Conference from 1947 to 1949. Western Reserve played many of its big-time college football games at League Park, including against the Ohio State Buckeyes, Pittsburgh Panthers, West Virginia Mountaineers, and Cincinnati Bearcats. Western Reserve and Case Tech often showcased their annual Thanksgiving Day rivalry game against one another, as well as playing other Big Four Conference games against John Carroll and Baldwin-Wallace.

Although Cleveland Stadium opened in 1932 and had a much larger seating capacity and better access by car, League Park continued to be used by the Indians through the 1946 season, mainly for weekday games. Weekend games, games expecting a larger crowd, and night games were held at Cleveland Stadium. Most of the League Park structure was demolished in 1951, although some remnants still remain, including the original ticket office built in 1909.

After extensive renovation, the site was rededicated on August 23, 2014, as the Baseball Heritage Museum and Fannie Lewis Community Park at League Park.

Len Barker's perfect game

On May 15, 1981, Len Barker of the Cleveland Indians threw a perfect game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Cleveland Stadium, the tenth perfect game in Major League Baseball history. The Indians defeated the Blue Jays 3–0, as Barker did not allow a baserunner. Barker never once reached ball three against any Blue Jay hitter. He recorded strikeouts against seven of the last eleven Blue Jays hitters.Barker's perfect game is the most recent no-hitter thrown by a Cleveland pitcher. "I run into people almost every day who want to talk about it," Barker said in 2006. "Everyone says, 'You're probably tired of talking about it.' I say, 'No, it's something to be proud of.' It's a special thing."Barker was the first perfect game pitcher who did not come to bat during the entire game, with the American League having adopted the designated hitter in 1973.

Ron Hassey, Barker's catcher, would catch Dennis Martínez's perfect game in 1991, thus becoming the only catcher, to date, to catch two perfect games.

Danny Ainge, who would play 14 seasons in the National Basketball Association, was on the losing end of this game. He grounded out and struck out in his two at-bats; in the ninth inning, he was pinch-hit for by Alvis Woods, who struck out.

List of Cleveland Indians Opening Day starting pitchers

The Cleveland Indians are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Cleveland, Ohio. They play in the American League Central division. The first game of the new baseball season is played on Opening Day, and being named the starter that day is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. Since joining the league in 1901, the Indians have used 58 different Opening Day starting pitchers which includes the Opening Day starting pitchers from the Bluebirds and the Naps. They have a record of 58 wins and 54 losses in their Opening Day games.The Indians have played in three different home ball parks, League Park from 1901 through 1946, Cleveland Stadium from 1932 to 1993, and Progressive Field since 1994. From 1934 through 1946 some games were played at League Park and some at Cleveland Stadium. They had a record of 11 wins and 4 losses in Opening Day games at League Park, 9 wins and 13 losses at Cleveland Stadium and 2 wins and 4 losses at Progressive Field, for a total home record in Opening Day games of 22 wins and 21 losses. Their record in Opening Day away games is 35 wins and 35 losses.Bob Feller has the most Opening Day starts for the Indians, with seven. Stan Coveleski had six Opening Day starts for the Indians, Bob Lemon and CC Sabathia each had five Opening Day starts, and Addie Joss, Willie Mitchell, Gaylord Perry and Charles Nagy each had four. Several Baseball Hall of Famers have made Opening Day starts for the Indians, including Feller, Coveleski, Lemon, Joss, Gaylord Perry, Dennis Eckersley and Early Wynn. Brothers Jim Perry and Gaylord Perry each made Opening Day starts for the Indians. Jim Perry started on Opening Day in 1961 and Gaylord Perry made Opening Day starts in 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1975.The Indians have played in the World Series six times. They won in 1920 and 1948, and lost in 1954, 1995, 1997, and 2016. Coveleski was the Opening Day starting pitcher in 1920, Feller in 1948, Wynn in 1954, Dennis Martínez in 1995, Nagy in 1997, and Corey Kluber. The Indians are five and one in Opening Day games in those seasons, with the only loss coming in 2016. The Indians and the Toronto Blue Jays currently hold the record for the longest Opening Day game in Major League history. They set that record on Opening Day 2012, when the game lasted 16 innings. This broke the previous record of 15 innings between the Indians and the Detroit Tigers in 1960.

List of Monday Night Football results (1970–89)

Beginning in the 1970 NFL season, the National Football League began scheduling a weekly regular season game on Monday night before a national television audience. From 1970 to 2005, the ABC television network carried these games, with the ESPN cable television network taking over beginning in September 2006. Listed below are games played from 1970 to 1989.

Stadium Mustard

Stadium Authentic Mustard is the trademarked name of a brown mustard, manufactured in Illinois, popular in Northeast Ohio, particularly in Cleveland. Stadium Authentic is an alternative formulation of Joe Bertman's original signature mustard recipe, also produced by his family's company, Bertman Original Ball Park Mustard. Stadium Authentic Mustard is sold in retail stores, supermarkets, and online, and served in over 150 stadiums and arenas throughout the United States, but not in most Cleveland sports stadiums, where the competing Bertman's Original brand continues to be sold.

Ten Cent Beer Night

Ten Cent Beer Night was a promotion held by Major League Baseball's Cleveland Indians during a game against the Texas Rangers at Cleveland Stadium on Tuesday, June 4, 1974.

The idea behind the promotion was to attract more fans to the game by offering 12 fluid ounce (355 ml) cups of 3.2% beer for just 10 cents each, a substantial discount on the regular price of 65 cents, with a limit of six beers per purchase but with no limit on the number of purchases made during the game. During the game, fans became heavily intoxicated, culminating in a riot in the ninth inning which caused the game to be forfeited due to the crowd's uncontrollable rowdiness and because the game could not be resumed in a timely manner.

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