How precious is this place! Cleveland’s League Park baseball field.
As I skimmed through various articles and photos about the stadium and surrounding neighborhood circa 1890’s, I imagine stepping back in that time era as a kid around 12 years old on a hot summer sunny day…riding my bike up to the out field wall trying to get a glimpse of the drama inside about to unfold! I can only hear from the crowd that something exciting was about to happen! The bases are loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, the score, Cleveland 3, New York 2.…batter down to his last strike and the famed Cy Young pitching for Cleveland. One hit means two runs could score placing the opposing team ahead. The crowd urges on for the final strike--up on their feet. The pitcher looks on, the set, the wind up…the next pitch… …a moment frozen in time as 20 thousand behold….AND…STRIKE THREE CALLED… Cleveland wins!
Yes, coming back from that little day dream, I feel this park is an example of part of the birth of baseball--even pre-dating the last of the great big old parks today. League park represents an era not only in baseball history, but an era when such a park was a part of the neighborhood--a great community venue that brought people together. It represents a time when people didn’t live their lives in cars. League Park was situated in such a way where you would sit on your front porch and hear the game---or walk across the street to attend one!
The architecture is simply beaconing, warm, charming and romantic--evoking a lost period often imitated but never duplicated. I am surprised that many more in the baseball world have not reached out to help make the current restoration a reality as it is part of the heritage and evolution of the game. Many firsts in baseball happened at League Park.
Restoring such a facility could also spur rejuvenation of the surrounding neighborhood. Although, only fragments of the original park remain, the heart and soul lives on forever. Restoring the park again could very well be a real life Field of Dreams story! I would enjoy hearing your comments about League Park and the chances it can become a reality again. This place could draw visitors nation and worldwide. For complete information about League Park including history, photos, and information on current restoration efforts, please see : http://www.leaguepark.org