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Cleveland’s League Park still exists, is getting a $5 million renovation

Jan 27, 2012, 12:50 PM EDT

League Park

Things I did not know: Cleveland’s League Park, in which Cy Young pitched for the Cleveland Spiders in 1891 and which was home to the Cleveland Indians until 1946, still stands. At least partially.  And the city of Cleveland has somehow found some money to help renovate it:

City Architecture is wrapping up plans that include restoring the ticket house and a bleacher wall and creating a Major League-size diamond in the same place as the original. Home plate will go in the exact spot where it rested the day that Babe Ruth whacked his 500th career home run in 1929.

Plans also call for a community building with a museum, a youth baseball diamond and a field for football and soccer. If bids are low enough, the city could add a pavilion and splash park.

As the article makes clear, there’s oodles of history associated with that yard. And while its days as a baseball stadium were over before my mother was born, it’s great that enough of the structure remains that it can anchor what sounds like will a useful and vibrant facility in the future. One that recalls history while still serving a present need.

And of course all I can think of is how sad it was that no one could pull that off with Tiger Stadium in Detroit. Despite the fact that it sat vacant for nearly 60 years less than League Park did.

Sigh.

  1. latchbeam - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Cleveland: We’re not Detroit!

    • kopy - Jan 27, 2012 at 2:01 PM

      Just in case you weren’t trying to reference this video and it was all an awesome coincidence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZzgAjjuqZM

  2. bloodysock - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    Looks like they took the $5 million the Browns wanted for their stadium improvements:

    http://www.cleveland.com/naymik/index.ssf/2012/01/the_cleveland_browns_stadium_i.html

  3. Joe - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Well, you also have to consider the benefits of the Tiger Stadium demolition. If they hadn’t knocked it down, then Detroit wouldn’t have that vacant lot today.

  4. heynerdlinger - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Probably worth pointing out that there’s not a whole lot more of League Park standing than there is of Tiger Stadium.

  5. natstowngreg - Jan 27, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Sounds like what Pittsburgh did with the remnants of Forbes Field, though on a much larger scale.

    Sometime in the spring of 1992, I was staying in a hotel near the U. of Pittsburgh campus. I had seen a piece on This Week in Baseball about how parts of Forbes Field still existed nearby. After wandering around campus a bit, I found them. The old brick LF wall (with the flag pole in the warning track). Home plate, in a corridor of a classroom building. Being a Pirates fan at the time, it was an almost religious experience.

  6. Old Gator - Jan 27, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    Looks an awful lot like Fort Jefferson, but without the tide pools full of lionfish:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Jefferson,_Florida

    Great place for scuba, snorkeling and picnicking. It’s in the sun-drenched Straits of Florida. What’s League Park good for? And it’s where…in Cleveland?

  7. damusfucious - Jan 30, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    Did Cy Young ever pitch at the corner of Michigan Ave and Trumbull Street? Is that were Navin Field once stood?

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