The Top 20 Moments in Jacobs Field History: Snowpening Day
The 2013 season will mark the 20th year of baseball at Progressive (ie Jacobs) Field. It’s been a relatively short history (although with the stadium building boom in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Progressive Field is the 13th oldest facility in the majors). Did the Tribe Win Last Night? has compiled a list of the 20 most memorable moments in the field’s history. We’ll count them down while we wait for Opening Day.
By Vince Guerrieri
14. Snowpening Day 2007
The Indians had won two of their first three games to begin the 2007 season, but when they returned to Cleveland from the South Side of Chicago, they found less than ideal conditions for baseball. It was, however, the kind of conditions for which football games have become legendary.
It was windy and snowing. The home opener was scheduled to start at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 6, 2007, but the start time was pushed back almost an hour. News accounts referred to Jacobs Field as the world’s largest snow globe. There were game stoppages throughout, but Paul Byrd – signed as a back-end starter for the Indians before the 2006 season – was working on a no-hitter.
Finally, with Jose Lopez down to his last strike in the top of the fifth – one strike away from the game becoming official – umpires called the game after Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said his players were unable to see the ball.
The game was originally scheduled to be played the next day as part of a doubleheader, but the entire series got canceled as snow blanketed the Cleveland area. It was the Mariners’ only trip to Cleveland, posing some problems for rescheduling.
The Indians ended up playing a “home” game at Safeco Field, and the Mariners made three separate trips to play one game each in Cleveland. But the havoc from the weather wasn’t over yet.
The next series was to see the Angels come to Cleveland. But because the snow wouldn’t let up, Major League Baseball took the unusual – but not unprecedented – step of moving the games. The Indians and Angels played a three-game series at Miller Park in Milwaukee, meaning that in 2007, the Indians had three separate home fields during the regular season.