of fair territory: 117,000
sq. ft. (1910 - 1919)
sq. ft. (1921 - 1929)
of foul territory: Average
LF - 5 ft
- 10 ft
to RF - 45 ft
Who Played Here: Cleveland
First Opened: May 1, 1891
Reopened: April 21, 1910
First night game: Never
Last game: September 21, 1946
Capacity: 9,000 (1891); 21,414 (1910)
Architect: Osborn Engineering
Owner: Cleveland Indians
The first version of League Park was built in 1891, and was used by the
Cleveland Spiders of the National League and then the Cleveland Indians of
the American League. The field was terrible, the park was
unattractive, and the Indians eventually built a new ballpark in 1910 for
their franchise. Converted to baseball's fourth concrete-and-steel
park in 1910, Cleveland's League Park never had lights, and never had a
night game. This was the scene of Bill Wamgass' unassisted triple
play in the 1920 World Series, and of Joltin' Joe DiMaggio's 56th
consecutive game in which he recorded a hit on July 16. Only 15,000
fans showed up at League Park to see Dago extend his record, with a
first-inning single off Cleveland starter Al Milnar. The following
day, Indians' Al Smith, Jim Bagby and All-Star third baseman Ken Keltner's
sparkling defense held "Joltin' Joe" hitless for the first time
in two months.
ballpark was located at the eastern end of the city at the corner of East
66th Street and Lexington Avenue. The site had been selected by
Cleveland owner F.D. Robinson - the Payne and Wade streetcars passed close
by the building, and Robinson - who also owned the streetcar company -
delighted in seeing patrons dropped off by one of his enterprises saunter
into another of his businesses.
The park was built in one of the poshest neighborhoods in the city of
Cleveland - indeed, many millionaires, including John D. Rockefeller, put
their homes on nearby Euclid Avenue, the main road heading east from
Cleveland. Before interstate highways cam along, that was the road
you would have taken to get from Cleveland to places like Buffalo and
Boston. For over one hundred years, the area east of Cleveland that
Euclid Avenue passed through was one of the most prosperous neighborhoods
in America. Through most of the 20th century, the finest office
buildings, department stores and playhouses lined the street.
The practice of color-coding tickets began here in 1914 - box seats were
$1.25, reserve seats sold for a dollar, and general admission was seventy
five cents. For fifty cents, fans could gain access to the pavilion,
the double-decked grandstand extensions that had been added to the
original grandstand and the foul poles. A season ticket for an
eight-seat box cost $100.
The park had an odd shape, almost as if right field
didn't exist - that was the result of a saloon and two homes refusing to sell
their property. The left field was gargantuan - it was 375 to the left
field foul pole, almost 415 to the power alley in left center, and as deep as
505 feet to the left edge of center field. The right field was tiny - just
290 feet to the foul pole and a very manageable poke to right-center. In
sellouts, overflow crowds could stand in right field as close as 240 feet from
In 1920, a 45-foot wall was placed in right to contain home runs, and the
distances to left and center were shortened considerably. For the
most part, the prevailing winds carried the ball well to left, though even
with strong gusts of wind it was hard to knock the ball clean out.
As it turned out, a home run to right was no picnic either because of the
wall - the park cut down home runs for both left-handed and right-handed
hitters. Balls hitting 25-foot-high
screen above the 45-foot-high right field wall were still in play, so
plenty of lazy fly balls turned into singles and extra base hits.
Cleveland, Ohio: Intersection of
East 66th Street and Lexington Avenue 3 miles east of City Hall. 1st base
(W) E 66th St.; 3rd base (N) Linwood Ave.; left field (E) E 70th St.;
right Field (S) Lexington Ave.
field: 385 (1910), 376 (1920), 374 (1930), 373 (1934), 374 (1938), 375
corner, just left of center field: 505 (1910), 450 (1920), 467 (1930),
465 (1938), 460 (1939)
field: 420 ft
field: 290 (1921), 240 (when roped off for overflow crowds)
76 (1910), 60 (1942).
field: 5 ft (concrete)
10 ft (7 screen above 3 concrete)
field scoreboard: 35 ft
clock: 20 ft (left and right sides), 22 (center of clock)
field, parts not covered by chicken wire screen: 45 ft (20 concrete topped
by 25 steel chicken wire screen supports, 1920)
field, parts covered by chicken wire screen: 45 (20 concrete topped by 25
chicken wire screen, 1920).
Cy Young won the first game played in League Park on May 1, 1891 - a 12-3 win
over the Reds, before 9,500 fans.
- From 1932 to 1946, the Indians played
their day games here and their night games and important weekday at
Municipal Stadium, which had a higher capacity.
Renovated for the 1910 season. The wooden grandstand was replaced with
steel and concrete and double decked.
Seats were added for the 1920 World Series which cut the center field distance
from 460 feet to 420 feet.
Called Dunn Field from 1916 to 1927 after then owner Sunny Jim Dunn.
Indians second baseman Bill Wambsganss made the only unassisted triple play in
World Series history here on October 10, 1920 in game 5 against the Brooklyn
Robins (Dodgers). In the same game Elmer Smith hit the first grand-slam and Kim
Bagby became the first pitcher to hit a home run in World Series history.
Joe DiMaggio set a record by hitting safely in his 56th consecutive game here on
July 16, 1941.
Used only for the Indians weekday and Saturday day games from 1934 to 1946.
Owner Bill Veeck moved all of the Indians home games to Cleveland (Municipal)
Stadium in 1947.
A park now occupies the site and a portion of the outfield stands still exists.
The two-story ticket booth built during the 1909-10 renovation is still standing
and serves as a recreation center.