Meisel: 25 years later, how Jacobs Field saved baseball in Cleveland

From SABR member Zack Meisel at The Athletic on April 2, 2019:

Carlos​ Baerga referred to it as a shiny new​ toy.​ Sandy Alomar compared​ it to​ relocating from a cramped​ apartment​ to​​ a sparkling, spacious new home.

When the Indians moved into Jacobs Field 25 years ago, the players marveled at the amenities — the batting cages, the food spread, the weight room, even the toilets. The team traveled a long, painful path to arrive at what some in the organization deem the most significant day in franchise history.

Wayne Kirby’s extra-inning walk-off single capped an afternoon that ushered in a new era, an opportunity for the franchise to bury four decades of misery at a crumbling building and to commence the golden standard of baseball in Cleveland.

Progressive Field has stood in downtown Cleveland for a quarter-century now.

Without it, those glory days might never have happened. The last few seasons might have unfolded in Denver or in Tampa. Without the construction of a brand-new ballpark, baseball in Cleveland might have ceased to exist.

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Originally published: April 2, 2019. Last Updated: April 2, 2019.