On April 21, 1910, Cleveland’s “new” League Park opened in Cleveland, Ohio. Originally opened in 1891 as a wood structure, the park was rebuilt using concrete and steel in 1910. From its opening in 1891 through the 1899 season, League Park was home to the Cleveland Spiders of the National League. In 1900 it housed the Western League’s Cleveland Lake Shores, who became the Cleveland Indians in 1901 when the American League was born. The Indians played at League Park from 1901 to 1946, splitting games between Municipal Stadium and League Park between 1936 and 1946 before officially moving to Municipal Stadium for the 1947 season. Other teams to play there were the Cleveland Buckeyes of the Negro American League (1943-1948, 1950), and several NFL and college teams.
Several historic events occurred at League Park, including:
- Addie Joss’ perfect game, 1908
- The first World Series grand slam, hit by Elmer Smith in 1920
- The first World Series home run by a pitcher, hit by Jim Bagby in 1920
- Babe Ruth’s 500th home run, 1929
- Bob Feller’s first win, 1936
- Joe DiMaggio’s final game of his 56-game hitting streak, 1941
Today the site houses the Baseball Heritage Museum, a new field where the old one once stood, and a community park. The ticket booth of League Park was restored and reopened as the museum in 2014. The mission of the museum is “to preserve and present the history of diversity in baseball by entertaining, educating, and enlightening the visiting public about the multicultural heritage of baseball and the values it represents.”
Happy Birthday, League Park!