Date: Thursday June 29, 12:10pm
Teams: Cleveland Indians vs. Texas Rangers
Ticket(s): Section 344, Row J, Seat 4 (FREE! Thanks to Hall Industrial of Northwest Ohio)
The drive from Toronto to Cleveland was a tough one. I was up at 4:15am to make the 5-hour drive. The night game followed by a day game the next day will happen once more (St. Louis then Chicago), but this one featured an abnormally early start time. Luckily, I had some built in advantages once I got to Cleveland – I was meeting my girlfriend and her sister and brother-in-law who live just minutes from downtown. Also, thanks to Hall Industrial we had club seats that came with all the food and soft drinks we could eat. Lunch more than covered.
I definitely felt much more awkward wearing my Tigers jersey and hat at the Jake than I did in Toronto. That’s to be expected and I only got a couple jeers from Tribe fans. We lucked out on the pitching side of things, getting to see Cory Kluber strike out 12 over 8 innings.
When you have free food and great seats, you tend to do much less exploring. Also, because of the crazy drive, we didn’t quite make batting practice. The brats were great and so were the beef and cheese nachos.
Instead, we took in the first four or so innings before getting up and moving around a bit. Once we did, we found ourselves taking in some of the game from the standing room in center field – a much more lively setting than the comfy club seats. And we finally made it over to the Great Lakes Brewing Company Beer Garden. You can’t go wrong with Great Lakes – I grabbed the Pale Ale.
And – of utmost importance – mustard won the hotdog race.
Early game meant time to catch up on sleep and enjoy Cleveland a bit. First thing in the morning, I’m off to Cincinnati. Originally, the plan was to get there Thursday night, but now that that is not happening, I may swing by Cuyahoga National Park, just south of Cleveland on my way. The Reds host the Cubs for a 7 o’clock Friday night game at Great American Ball Park – a perfect way to kick off this Fourth of July weekend.