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--Ted Turner, owner of the Atlanta Braves


League Park

By Wikipedia

League Park was a baseball stadium located in Cleveland, Ohio. It was home to the Cleveland Spiders, the Cleveland Indians and the Cleveland Buckeyes of the Negro American League. It was located at Lexington Avenue and E. 66th Street.

At a glance...
Facility statistics
Location Cleveland, Ohio
Opened May 1, 1891
Re-Opened April 21, 1910
Closed September 21, 1946
Demolished 1951 (though a park
and some buildings
Replaced (previous League Park)
Replaced by Cleveland Municipal
(1932, Indians)
Owner Cleveland Indians
Surface Grass
Architect Osborn Engineering
Cleveland Spiders (NL, 1891-1899)
Indians (AL, 1901-1946)
Bears (Negro, 1939-40)
Buckeyes (Negro, 1943-1950)
Seating capacity
9,000 (1891)
21,000 (1910)
22,500 (1939)
Left Field - 385 ft
Left-Center - 415 ft
Center Field - 420 ft
Right-Center - 400 ft
Right Field - 290 ft
Backstop - 60 ft

League Park was opened on May 1, 1891, and sat 9,000 on wooden seats at the time. The Spiders played there until going out of business after a disastrous 20–134 season in 1899. They were replaced two years later by the Indians. The stadium was rebuilt for the 1910 season, with concrete and steel grandstands, now seating 21,414.

James Dunn, who owned the stadium for a time, had the stadium called Dunn Park from 1916 to 1927. The Cleveland Buckeyes won the 1945 Negro League World Series in League Park.

The Indians began playing night, holiday and weekend games at the far larger Cleveland Stadium in 1932. They split games between the two stadiums until the end of the 1946 season. Lights were never installed at League Park, and it was thus impossible to play night games there. For 1947, the Indians moved to Cleveland Stadium full-time.

Fly to the site of League Park!
If you have Google Earth installed, click here to be "flown" to the site of the League Park. Of course the stadium is no longer there, but you can see the park that now resides there. (If you do not have it installed, get it from Google. It allows you to view virtually anywhere on Earth in 3D using satellite imagery.)

Because of a need to squeeze the stadium into the Cleveland street grid, the stadium was rather oddly shaped by modern standards. It was only 290 feet down the right field line—though batters still had to surmount a 60-foot fence to hit a home run (by comparison, the Green Monster at Fenway Park is only 37 feet high). The fence in left field was only five feet tall, but batters had to hit the ball 375 feet down the line to hit a home run. When the park opened in 1910, the deepest part of the park left of center field was a mammoth 510 feet from home plate! It was moved in as close as 450 feet by 1920.

After the demise of the Negro American League Cleveland Buckeyes following the 1950 season, League Park was no longer in use as a regular sports venue. The Cleveland Browns football team would continue to use the aging facility as a practice field until the late 1960's.

A public park, including a baseball field—where a small section of the old first-base lower deck stands remain alongside a baseball diamond where the original was situated, and also the old ticket office behind what was the right field corner—stands on the site today.

League Park!

League Park was used for 15 seasons by the Indians after Cleveland Stadium was built.

Courtesy of LCPC

04/21/1910 Tigers 5, Indians 0
Umpires Jack Sheridan, John Kerin
Managers Deacon McGuire, Indians
  Hughie Jennings, Tigers
Starting Pitchers Cy Young, Indians
  Ed Willett, Tigers
Ceremonial Pitch American League President Ban Johnson
Attendance 18,832
Batter Matty McIntyre (ground out)
Hit Nig Clarke (single)
Run Oscar Stanage
RBI Ed Willett
Single Nig Clarke
Double Oscar Stanage
Triple Sam Crawford (04/22/1910)
Home Run Roy Hartzell (05/28/1910)
Grand Slam Ivy Olson (05/18/1911)
IPHR Roy Hartzell (05/28/1910)
Stolen Base Sam Crawford
Sacrifice Hit Oscar Stanage
Sacrifice Fly George Stovall (04/22/1910)
Cycle Ski Melillo (05/23/1929)
Win Ed Willett
Loss Cy Young
Shutout Ed Willett
Save N/A
Hit by Pitch Ed Willett hit Joe Birmingham
Wild Pitch Cy Young
Balk George Kahler (05/25/1911)
No-Hitter Wes Ferrell (04/29/1931)
Primary research by Jim Herdman & David Vincent
Courtesy of Retrosheet


Related Books on Ballparks
The Ballpark Book: A Journey Through the Fields of Baseball Magic by Ron Smith and Kevin Belford.
Ballpark: The Story of America's Baseball Fields by Lynn Curlee
Ballparks: A Panoramic History by Marc Sandalow and Jim Sutton.
Ballparks by Robert Von Goeben and Red Howard.
Ballparks: Then & Now by Eric Enders.
Baseball Vacations: Great Family Trips to Minor League and Classic Major League Ballbarks Across America by Bruce Adams and Margaret Engel.
Blue Skies, Green Fields: A Celebration of 50 Major League Baseball Stadiums by Ira Rosen.
Diamonds: The Evolution of the Ballpark by Michael Gershman.
Fields of Dreams: A Guide to Visiting and Enjoying All 30 Major League Ballparks by Jay Ahuja
Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebration of All Major League and Negro League Ballparks by Philip J. Lowry.
Joe Mock's Ballpark Guide by Joe Mock.
Lost Ballparks: A Celebration of Baseball's Legendary Fields by Lawrence S. Ritter.
Roadside Baseball: A Guide to Baseball Shrines Across America by Chris Epting.
Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present by Josh Leventhal and Jessica Macmurray.
The Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip: A Fan's Guide to Major League Stadiums by Joshua Pahigian and Kevin O'Connell.
Video: Story of America's Classic Ballparks
Video: Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns

Economics of Stadiums
City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks by Philip Bess.
Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit by Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause.
Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums by Kevin J. Delaney and Rick Eckstein.
Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums by Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist.

General Stadium Reference:
Sports Staff of USA Today. The Complete 4 Sport Stadium Guide. Fodor's, 1996.

Stadium Design and Financing References:
Philip Bess. City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks. Knothole Press, 1999.
Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause. Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit. Common Courage Press, 1998.
Mark S. Rosentraub. Major League Losers: The Real Cost of Sports and Who's Paying for It. HarperCollins, 1997.
Kevin J. Delaney, Rick Eckstein. Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums. Rutgers University Press, 2004.
Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist. Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums. Brookings Institution, 1997.
Dean V. Baim. The Sports Stadium as a Municipal Investment. Greenwood Publishing, 1994.
Stadia: A Design and Development Guide by Geraint John and Rod Sheard. Architectural Press, 2000.
Michelle Provoost, Matthjis Bouw and Camiel Van Winkel. The Stadium: Architecture of Mass Sport. NAI Publishers, 2000.

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Fans head to the teepees erected in 1946.

LOC Photo

Year by Year statistics: for League Park

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It uses material from this Wikipedia article, which is probably more up to date than ours (retrieved August 12, 2005).

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