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  • Cleveland Municipal Stadium

    No threads exist on the big stadium by the lake, so here goes.

    First photo is from May 1941. Sign on the bleacher wall states that in the upcoming homestand the first night game of the season is against the STL Browns.

    Second photo is an undated photo from the upper deck which I guess is from the 1940's (taken from 1981 All Star Game program).

    Third and fourth photos are from the May 23, 1948 DH against the Yankees. Overflow crowd of 78,431 spills into the open area between the fence and the bleachers. The 470-foot original centerfield sign is still evident.

    As part of the post-war explosion and optimism in the country, American's flocked to baseball parks (and horse tracks for that matter) in record numbers. Then after that 5 to 6 year burst, attendance dropped across the board and didn't reach those levels again until the 1970's. The Indians drew a major league record 2,620,627 in 1948, a mark that lasted until the opening of Dodger Stadium in 1962. It remained an AL Record until the Yankees broke it in 1980.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by sflnyc; 10-19-2007, 03:49 PM.
    Obladi, Oblada...

    July 30, 1978 @ Yankee Stadium (DH vs. Minnesota) My childhood introduction in-person to the greatest game ever.

  • #2
    More photos of the giant stadium.

    First photo is from 1957. The standing room area in centerfield had given way to a scenic garden.

    Second photo is Chief Wahoo on the stadium wall urging fans to buy their 1959 season tickets early.

    Pictures 3-5 are taken from the 1981 All-Star Game program.

    Third photo is from a Bat Day promotion game (undated).

    Fourth and fifth photos are shots from the upper deck, probably taken in the late 1970's or early 1980's.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by sflnyc; 10-19-2007, 06:50 PM.
    Obladi, Oblada...

    July 30, 1978 @ Yankee Stadium (DH vs. Minnesota) My childhood introduction in-person to the greatest game ever.

    Comment


    • #3
      More pictures

      First one is of the cover of the 1981 All Star Game Program

      Second one is a color photo from that same program. This photo is comparable to photo #3 in the previous post. It was part of an NBC Ad in the program (I cropped out the rest). I'm guessing because of the bunting, that the photo might be from the 1981 Opener against Milwaukee with 71,067 on hand. Question though, is if it was the Home Opener, why was the field in such bad shape with the football field still evident?

      The third photo I cut out from a 1991 issue of Sports Illustrated because it had a picture of the stadium. Turns out the guy is John Adams, the man with the drum. I had no idea that was him until a post in a thread a couple of weeks back about TBS Broadcasting the Divisional Playoffs. Man, those wooden bleacher benches were in some bad shape!
      Attached Files
      Obladi, Oblada...

      July 30, 1978 @ Yankee Stadium (DH vs. Minnesota) My childhood introduction in-person to the greatest game ever.

      Comment


      • #4
        I wonder if the guy with the drum is the same guy they interviewed at Jacobs Field during the Yankee series

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by nymdan9 View Post
          I wonder if the guy with the drum is the same guy they interviewed at Jacobs Field during the Yankee series
          It is the same guy.... I met him at Cleveland stadium years ago.... he works for the phone company in northern Ohio....
          It is 9:46 p.m.

          Vin Scully with the call: Two and 2 to Harvey Kuenn, one strike away. Sandy into his windup, here's the pitch.....

          Swung on and missed, a perfect game!!

          check out my personal ballpark photography site
          www.ballparks.phanfare.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by nymdan9 View Post
            I wonder if the guy with the drum is the same guy they interviewed at Jacobs Field during the Yankee series
            Yes, that is him.

            Here is my comment (Post #34) from the TBS Broadcasting thread
            http://www.baseball-fever.com/showth...t=68653&page=2

            Here is a picture of him 16 years later (2006) from the Indians website
            Attached Files
            Obladi, Oblada...

            July 30, 1978 @ Yankee Stadium (DH vs. Minnesota) My childhood introduction in-person to the greatest game ever.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks!

              Yeah, that's John Adams with the drums, and he is still beating the war drums when a rally is needed.

              Spent many a fine weekend day there with my dad in the early '60s through late '70s before we moved.

              For much of the time we went there the upper deck was closed off after Opening Day, and they were lucky to draw a crowd of 5000 diehards most weekdays. You could drive up an hour and a half before game time, park for free a few blocks away in an alley, buy a good seat near third base and watch BP and a game for very little cash. Your car was nearly always there when you got back.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by sflnyc View Post
                More pictures

                First one is of the cover of the 1981 All Star Game Program

                Second one is a color photo from that same program. This photo is comparable to photo #3 in the previous post. It was part of an NBC Ad in the program (I cropped out the rest). I'm guessing because of the bunting, that the photo might be from the 1981 Opener against Milwaukee with 71,067 on hand. Question though, is if it was the Home Opener, why was the field in such bad shape with the football field still evident?

                The third photo I cut out from a 1991 issue of Sports Illustrated because it had a picture of the stadium. Turns out the guy is John Adams, the man with the drum. I had no idea that was him until a post in a thread a couple of weeks back about TBS Broadcasting the Divisional Playoffs. Man, those wooden bleacher benches were in some bad shape!
                Nice photos!

                My dad always talked about how ugly Municipal stadium was, how bad the grass was, and, how the sewage leeked into the dugout during games.

                From the looks of it he was porbably exxagerating.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sflnyc View Post
                  More pictures

                  First one is of the cover of the 1981 All Star Game Program
                  I hope I can still find mine
                  Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
                  Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Question to Cleveland area posters.

                    What year was the Loge Level section added?

                    The most I know is that it was spearheaded by former Browns owner Art Modell.

                    Originally posted by philipthegreat View Post
                    Nice photos!

                    My dad always talked about how ugly Municipal stadium was, how bad the grass was, and, how the sewage leeked into the dugout during games.

                    From the looks of it he was porbably exxagerating.
                    Leaking sewage? Sounds familiar to "the dump" of the Orange Bowl that my alma mater (U Miami) is finally leaving, 20 years after they should have left to a first class facility.
                    Last edited by sflnyc; 10-19-2007, 07:05 PM.
                    Obladi, Oblada...

                    July 30, 1978 @ Yankee Stadium (DH vs. Minnesota) My childhood introduction in-person to the greatest game ever.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The loge area was added about 1974. I believe that Modell's Stadium Corp. took over stadium operations in 1973.
                      Last edited by EdTarbusz; 10-19-2007, 09:47 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I went to a lot of games at this park, and don't remember the upper deck ever being closed off.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by EdTarbusz View Post
                          I went to a lot of games at this park, and don't remember the upper deck ever being closed off.
                          Even with only the typical 5-10,000 crowds back in the day? I left my 1983 Dope Book at the office but I'm sure both the lower and upper decks had around 30,000 seats each. That's interesting.

                          Down here in South Florida, the Marlins close off the Upper Deck for the midweek "10,000" crowds with a 23,834 "fake capacity". They only open the Upper Deck on weekends for the total 36,331 "fake capacity". You can tell that I don't give any creedence to the "fake capacities" listed by the Marlins, Oakland, Minnesota, etc. I know that when I attend a Marlins game that looks sold out in print in the boxscore to someone living elsewhere in the country that there were 30,000 empty seats with me. But I digress...
                          Last edited by sflnyc; 10-19-2007, 07:57 PM.
                          Obladi, Oblada...

                          July 30, 1978 @ Yankee Stadium (DH vs. Minnesota) My childhood introduction in-person to the greatest game ever.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sflnyc View Post
                            Even with only the typical 5-10,000 crowds back in the day?
                            I don't remember it closed off either, and sometimes crowds weren't even 5,000
                            Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
                            Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Cleveland Municipal Stadium memories

                              I also dont recall the upper deck being closed, or many restrictions on seating at all; until very late in my Cleveland years. I was born there in 1958 & lived there until 1985... in the mid 80's they DID put restrictions on where you could sit, and did close off via fence gates whole sections of the Stadium. But for most of my run as an Indian fan you could pay for a cheap seat and move almost anywhere, except to the field boxes. Also, the bleacher area was generally sealed off from the oval, although now and again an usher or gatekeeeper would allow some fans to pass from the oval to the bleachers or vice versa.

                              The bleachers were long wooden strips without dividers or seat backs & probably dated back to the 1931-32 opening of the park. They were very dried out but had one feature that probably no longer exists in any current MLB park. You could lie down on them, stretch out, & thanks to the sparse crowds of the 1970's, work on your tan while listening to Herb Score's play by play on the radio. Those were the days : )

                              The field was always in terrible shape in my memory. Three reasons for this. 1.) The Browns and Indians each had their own groundskeepers/ GK crews and grounds keeping needs / requirements in the pre Art Modell - Stadium Corp. days before Modell took over management and operation of the Stadium. I think at that time he brokered an agreement on GK issues with the Tribe's management team. 2nd reason was the appallingly ill-advised decision to LOWER the field level before one of the seasons of the mid 70's. The Stadium was only yards away from Lake Erie and was built on landfill, not on solid ground. When the field was lowered (to add field boxes if I recall correctly), that put the surface perilously close to such delights as 1000's of old tires, ancient metal junk etc... some of which actually worked its way above the surface of the field that year. At least once during the season (I want to say 1973 or 1974) the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported an outfielder tripped on something that when inspected was land fill trash from the 1930s. A 3rd reason was conflicting usages year round and the bad weather of Cleveland, when combined with the poor field quality & location; topped off by competing GK crews... well, lets just say I seldom recall the field for baseball ever looking really good. Even with that said, I miss the old horseshoe a lot, & would love to be able to see another game there. Thanks to all that posted pics!

                              Comment

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