League Park

Cleveland, OH

Team: Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Spiders (NL 1891-99), Cleveland Bears (NAL 1940), Cleveland Buckeyes (NAL 1942-49) Capacity: 9,000 (1891) 21,414 (1910)
Opening Day: May 1, 1891 Closing Day: September 21, 1946
Dimensions: LF 385, CF 460, RF 290 (1910) LF 375, CF 420, RF 290 (1946) Surface: grass
Architect: Osborn Engineering (1910) Owner: Cleveland Indians

Memorable Moments:

(From Above)
League Park opened on May 1, 1891, with the legendary Cy Young pitching for the Cleveland Spiders in their win over the Cincinnati Redlegs. The park remained the home of Cleveland's professional baseball and football teams until 1946. In 1920 the Cleveland Indians' Elmer Smith hit the first grand slam home run, and Billy Wamby executed the only unassisted triple play, in World Series history. Babe Ruth hit his 500th home run over the park's short right field wall in 1929. With the park as home field, the Cleveland Buckeyes won the Negro World Series in 1945.

Originally home to the Cleveland Spiders, Cy Young pitched the first game here on May 1, 1891. The Indians moved in 1901 and played here exclusively until 1937, and then played most of their weekday games here until 1941 when they made the permanent move to Cleveland Stadium, mostly because League Park didn't have lights. The Park was called Dunn Field from 1916 to 1927 after then owner Sunny Jim Dunn.

The neighbors refused to sell their property, thus making the field a big rectangle. That's why right field is so short. This stadium was built along the then luxurious Euclid Avenue (League Park could boast John Rockefeller as a neighbor), the neighborhood has since fallen into disrepair. It is now located in a fairly tough section of Cleveland, three miles east of the city, on the corner of 66th Street and Lexington Avenue, League Park still stands to this day. It is well worth the trip here, however as you really can get a sense of baseball past. One of the walls and a section of the grandstand is still standing, although crumbling, and the two story ticket booth is also up there and is now used (supposedly) as a recreation hall. There is also still a baseball diamond there. This park is old, and I mean old. It was 21 when Fenway was in its infancy. This is, on a guess, the oldest standing former professional baseball park and it is there for you to walk around, look at, and imagine what it must have been like.

Please take some time to look at the pictures below to get a better feel of everything.

I recently visited League Park in 2003 and here are some pictures of the renovations.

All information 2001-16 Paul Healey. All photographs 2001 Mike Ferraro and 2003 Paul Healey.