Cleveland Guardians – May 18, 2022

Whenever possible, I like to book at least two days in each city I visit for baseball. The primary reason for this is that inclement weather will be less likely to throw a wrench into my plans. If it rains on the first day of my visit, there’s a good chance that I’ll get to see a game on the second day.

My visit to Cleveland in May was the opposite of this scenario — perfect weather on day one and not-so-perfect weather on day two. My first ballgame in the U.S. in more than 1,000 days was a thrill in every way, but I could tell when I looked out my hotel window on my second day in town that Mother Nature might be disruptive.

I’ll freely admit that there are some things to enjoy about it raining on gameday, but game postponements aren’t on this list.

If this hadn’t been my first baseball trip in a long time, I’d have likely rolled the dice, assumed that there wouldn’t be a game, and stayed at my hotel. But after a lengthy baseball travel drought, I decided that even if a single pitch wasn’t going to be thrown, I’d be happy to hang out at Progressive Field for a bit.

The rain managed to hold off on my drive into downtown Cleveland, but the gray skies and the fact that the ballpark’s lights weren’t on as I approached told me that I’d be lucky to see any baseball on this second day of my trip. Nevertheless, I parked in my usual garage …

… and made the short walk toward the Right Field District Gate. I was the first fan in the area, partly because I was very early and partly because of the ominous weather forecast. I took advantage of the quiet environment to wander around and snap shots of some of the sights that I hadn’t seen a day earlier. Here’s one cool attraction — the phrase “Who’s On First?” written out in large stone blocks:

People typically use the blocks as benches, which means that the slogan is difficult to read or photograph unless no one else is around. With no crowds, I also took my time reading a number of the plaques that I’d briefly checked out about 24 hours earlier, as well as snapping shots like this one of the Larry Doby statue:

As you can see in the photo above, the sky was gray but the ground was dry — at least for now.

I stuck my phone through the fence around Heritage Plaza to take this picture of the area without any fans …

… and then set out for a slow walk around the park’s perimeter as I waited for the gates to open.

At the midway point of my walk, I took a shot of the Progressive Field sign at what I think is a cool angle:

Next, I poked my head through the open gate to see the players’ parking lot, vowing to check it out from above later in the afternoon:

By the time I made it back to the Right Field District Gate, the weather had changed considerably:

There were perhaps just a couple dozen fans in this area by now, and after a short wait, the gates opened and we entered to find some shelter. As you can see here, most people gathered under the second deck overhang:

I joined them a moment after snapping that shot. Instead of just standing around, though, I took advantage of the light crowds to explore the area a bit and see some of the sights I hadn’t checked out a day earlier. I ducked into The Corner, an ultra-cool two-level bar in the right field corner, scampered up a flight of stairs and soon had this view:

That’s a fire pit in the foreground, which adds a cool ambiance — and a nice source of heat — on cool days at the ballpark.

As you might’ve noticed in the above photo, the tarp was on the field. My gut told me it would remain there for the first of the day, but there was no announcement just yet. I spent the next little while snapping shots of the field from different angles while hoping that the rain might subside:

Next, I found a spot that gave me an elevated view of the players’ parking lot, which allowed me to see some vehicles from a better vantage point than what I’d previously been able to see from street level:

After checking out the vehicles for a moment, I returned to my elevated spot above The Corner and snapped this shot:

With the rain still falling, I decided to take a walk around the cross-aisle and enjoy the view, even if it was a soggy one:

As first pitch theoretically approached, the video board switched from playing Guardians highlights to display the following message — which I don’t think came as a surprise to anyone:

I was virtually certain that no baseball would be played on this day. This became even more apparent when I checked the Guardians schedule on the MLB app and realized that both they and the visiting Cincinnati Reds had off-days the following day. The simplest solution would be to cancel this game and reschedule it for a day earlier.

Happy to have shown up and spent some time at Progressive Field but also ready to find a drier spot, I decided to bid farewell to the Guardians and swap my evening baseball plans for a steak dinner. It wasn’t long before I saw on Twitter that the game had indeed been postponed — and, as I expected, rescheduled for the following day. My ticket would get me into that game, but I had some obligations back at home that meant adding another day to this short trip wouldn’t be in the cards. So, instead of gearing up for another game, I checked out of my hotel just before 5 a.m. the following day and made the long drive home — happy to have been back in Cleveland, even if I was only able to see one game.


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