Friday, April 25, 2008

A Progressive Friday

I have been looking forward to this weekend for literally months now. This Friday night as the first pitch is thrown between the Cleveland Indians and the visiting New York Yankees at Progressive Field (formally known as Jacob’s Field…right down the street from the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio), my family will be seated in the club level seats at the stadium enjoying a night of Major League Baseball. For a baseball fanatic like me who also happens to be the biggest Cleveland Indians fan in all of Lancaster County and probably the biggest Indians fan in all of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, this is going to be one special evening.

So how did we score such wonderful tickets? Actually, they were a gift from the mother of a lady in our church. This mom lives in Ohio and is also a lover of the Tribe and has a ticket package at Progressive Field. When she found out that her daughter’s pastor also loves the Cleveland Indians, we made an instant connection even though at that point we had never even met. Last season as the Indians were nearing what appeared to be a certain birth in the World Series, she graciously offered to give me a ticket to Game 7 if the World Series were to go that far. My bags were packed and ready. Unfortunately, the Indians barley missed wining the American League pennant and my ticket vanished as the Red Sox made their way to the series instead. However, last Christmas when this mom was in town visiting, she allowed me to pick a season game for my family to attend.

Ever since December I have been counting down the days until this game and finally it has arrived. We will leave town Friday morning and head west across the PA border back into the glorious Buckeye State. For those of you who may not know, I was born and raised in Northeast Ohio and I am and always be a buckeye at heart. Go Ohio State! Go Cleveland Browns! Go Cleveland Cavaliers! Go Cleveland Indians!

I have been in literally dozens of baseball stadiums and there is only one that I have experienced that tops what was once called Jacob’s Field and that is the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field in Chicago, home of the Cubs. That is just the best place ever to watch a ballgame. You just can’t beat the ivy covered home run fence and the fans seated on top of roofs across the street. You can just picture Babe Ruth calling his shot before driving the ball over the wall. But I’ll still take an Indians game over Wrigley!

My boys have gotten off to a slow start so far this season. With the MLB extra innings that my family got me for my birthday, I’ve been able to watch every game in the comfort of my family room. Win or lose, I am as loyal as can be to my team. This is a very good team and I’m certain that by the time September rolls around they will be right in the thick of it. After all, it is a very long season. But for now, the only victory that matters to me is this Friday night’s contest against those dreadful New York Yankees. Honestly, I hate the Yankees. This could just wind up being the perfect night. I will be with my family. I will be back in Ohio. I will be at the ballpark. I will be watching my Indians. And it's fireworks night to boot! Now that is what I call a progressive Friday.

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