Lucey: The golden age of Cleveland’s League Park

From SABR member Bill Lucey at The National Pastime Museum on September 11, 2014:

If you hear a crack of a bat or the sudden roar of a crowd near Lexington Avenue and East 66th Street in Cleveland, Ohio, in the coming weeks and months ahead, don’t be alarmed.

The sounds you’re hearing are radiating from League Park, the former home of Cleveland baseball from 1891 to 1946.

On August 23, 2014, League Park re-opened in the original Hough neighborhood, where baseball was played for more than 50 years. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Ohio’s U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, and former Cleveland Indians slugger Andre Thornton, among others, were on hand for the curtain-raiser, which included the unveiling of the Fannie M. Lewis sculpture, the League Park ribbon cutting, an appearance by the Cleveland Blues vintage baseball team, a home run derby, and a variety of other events and activities for people of all ages.

According to a spokesperson from Mayor Jackson’s office, the newly refurbished League Park will be open to the community and used by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. A request to use the field must be filed through the Department of Public Works.

Well before the Cleveland Indians permanently took up residence at Cleveland Municipal Stadium—or the “Mistake by the Lake” as it was referred to derisively by some fans, and beginning in 1994 at Jacobs Field (a.k.a. “The Jake”), now Progressive Field—League Park was the toast of the town.

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Originally published: September 11, 2014. Last Updated: September 11, 2014.