Opening Day Magic

Today is Opening Day for the Cleveland Indians and like every Opening Day it brings back memories of the first ( and regrettably the only) Opening Day I ever attended, April 7, 1973.

My friend Fred and I decided that it would be nice to take our youngest sons to the Cleveland Indians Opening Day game. We were both transplants from New York State and had abandoned the Yankees for the Indians.

The day of the game, we set out for Cleveland Municipal Stadium. We had not purchased advance tickets since the Indians were a mediocre team and only a small crowd was expected. The stadium could seat over 70.000 fans - no problem.

Imagine our shock when we got to the stadium, had trouble parking and found long lines at the ticket booth. I don't know what got into me but the thought of my son missing the game after I had touted up the excitement he would experience got the best of me. I found myself dashing straight for the ticket booth , bypassing the long line. I reached the booth , stepped ahead of the gentleman ( lucky me that he was a gentleman) ready to buy his tickets and purchased four tickets for the game. The boos and curses didn't bother me, I had four tickets. I had forgotten that I was in Cleveland and people had been beaten up and even killed for such a stupid stunt. It was worth it. Igot the tickets, the kids were happy and we enjoyed the game. Best of all, Gaylord Perry had his spitter going - Cleveland 2, Detroit 1.

The evening news reported that a " flash crowd" was at the stadium. The largest opening day crowd ever, attended the April 7 , 1973 home opener at Cleveland Stadium. A total of 74, 720 fans including Tony, Steve, Fred and Christopher were on hand to watch the game.

Ed Note : The magic is gone! Opening Day 2010 - Texas 4, Cleveland 2, but still a fan!

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