February 26, 2010 [LINK / comment]
Cleveland Stadium update
The diagrams of Cleveland Stadium, better known as the "Mistake on the Lake," have been updated with several significant corrections. The super-sized grandstand extends about 15 feet further toward the southeast (right field) and northeast (left field) sides than I had previously estimated, but the grandstand ends curve in more sharply. The center field bleachers don't curve as much, and foul territory is slightly smaller in the post-1960s versions. Finally, of course, the profile is much more accurate than before, and the light standards are included. I had previously included a note on that page to the effect that an update was scheduled for August or September, so I edited that to highlight the belated accomplishment of that long-overdue task.
But perhaps the most notable change on that page is the inclusion of a new hypothetical football version diagram. What if the City of Cleveland had decided to invest a couple hundred million dollars in the mid-1990s to refurbish Cleveland Stadium and bring it up to contemporary standards? They would have removed the massive roof and the upper portion of the support columns along with it, no doubt, and most likely would have expanded the upper deck by about eight rows, much like at the renovated Yankee Stadium. Likewise, they would have replaced much of the rear portion of the lower deck with expanded concourse areas and luxury suites, and added about eight rows of seats in front of the lower deck, while lowering the playing field by about three feet. That would have put the fans within reasonable distance of the sidelines, while improving the sight-lines for football games. It is a similar to my suggestion for QualComm (Jack Murphy) Stadium in San Diego.
Thanks to Tom Tomsick for pointing out to me that the bullpens at Cleveland Stadium were moved from foul territory to the vacant area beyond the outfield fence in 1954, and stayed there until 1966.
All-Star/World Series Stadiums
On a related note, I recently realized that on my blog post of Dec. 30 I should have included Cleveland Stadium among the elite group of stadiums that have hosted both the All-Star Game and the World Series during the same year: 1954. (Remember Willie Mays' famous catch in the Polo Grounds?) I also noticed that Yankee Stadium should have been listed a third time, for 1960. Here is the complete list, fully corrected and double-checked, along with the corresponding pennant-winning teams:
- Yankee Stadium (1939) -- N.Y. Yankees
- Fenway Park (1946) -- Boston Red Sox
- Ebbets Field (1949) -- Brooklyn Dodgers
- Cleveland Stadium (1954) -- Cleveland Indians (!)
- Memorial Coliseum (1959) -- L.A. Dodgers
- Yankee Stadium (1960) -- N.Y. Yankees (!)
- Metropolitan Stadium (1965) -- Minnesota Twins
- Riverfront Stadium (1970) -- Cincinnati Reds
- Yankee Stadium (1977) -- N.Y. Yankees
- Jacobs Field (1997) -- Cleveland Indians
Among all stadiums that have ever hosted the All-Star Game, Cleveland Stadium stands out in being the only one in which the "host" team, the Cleveland Indians in this case, did not even play there during the year in which the All-Star Game was played there, 1935. After two years in "Lakefront Stadium," as it was called in the early 1930s, they decided to return to the cozy confines of League Park, which remained their primary home until 1947.
World Series droughts
Another dubious distinction of Cleveland Stadium is that it shares second place for the most consecutive years in which the resident team did not earn a league pennant and thus a trip to the World Series: 39 years (1955 - 1993), the same as Comiskey Park (1920 - 1958). In a "league of its own," sadly enough, is Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs: 64 years without a World Series, and running. Here are the top seven:
|Stadium||Team||From||Through||No. of years|
|Wrigley Field||Chicago Cubs||1946||-||64|
|Cleveland Stadium||Cleveland Indians||1955||1993||39|
|Comiskey Park||Chicago White Sox||1920||1958||39|
|Braves Field||Boston Braves||1915||1947||33 *|
|Jack Murphy Stadium||San Diego Padres||1969||1997||29|
|Olympic Stadium||Montreal Expos||1977||2004||28|
|Griffith Stadium||Washington Senators||1934||1961||28|
* NOTE: Braves Field would be only 31 years if you count 1915 and 1916, when the other Boston team, the Red Sox, borrowed it for the World Series. Braves Field and Jack Murphy Stadium were fortunate to host World Series games during the final years of their Major League Service after an extended "drought," and Olympic Stadium probably would have if the 1994 players' strike had not ruined everything.