Back in December, I purchased tickets for my dad and I for Tribe Fest.  I knew I’d basically be rolling the dice as far as weather was concerned, but still wanted to give it a shot.  This year, rather than just purchasing general admission tickets, you also had to purchase a separate autograph ticket.  While it did make everything a bit more pricey, it at least really helped the organization of the event when compared to last year.  Since I decided to purchase a prospect autograph ticket, and had forked over about $40 for the pair, (and because I’m stubborn) I decided to brave the snow for the event.  I’m not sure if it was worth the hassle, but it was still nice to hang out at Progressive Field when the snow was piling up outside.

Looking through the gates to a snowy, sad, and empty Progressive Field.

Looking through the gates to a snowy, sad, and empty Progressive Field.

Since my dad lives about an hour away, it obviously wasn’t a good idea for him to make the trip today.  My husband (grudgingly) ended up pinch hitting for him.  On a normal day, in mostly normal traffic, it takes me about a half hour to get downtown.  It took about an hour today, which is actually a lot better than I expected.  My Tribe Fest tickets were for the 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. time slot, and the roads were in really poor shape on my way up there today.  We arrived safely though, albeit with elevated blood pressure and white knuckles.  It was much less crowded when compared to last year, but with two Saturday sessions and terrible weather, that made sense.

There was even a lot of snow once you walked further into Progressive Field.  This is the ramp just inside Gate A (near the home run porch) leading up to the upper levels.

There was even a lot of snow once you walked further into Progressive Field. This is the ramp just inside Gate A (near the home run porch) leading up to the upper levels.

We arrived around 11 a.m. and our autograph session was scheduled for 11:35.  So we walked around a bit and got in line early – it ended up being just Clint Frazier and Tyler Naquin.  They were kind of funny, because they kept making cracks to each other like, “Make it legible, so people can actually read it,” and “I can’t sign my name well because I didn’t go to college.”

Prospects Tyler Naquin and Clint Frazier sign autographs at Tribe Fest 2014.

Prospects Tyler Naquin and Clint Frazier sign autographs at Tribe Fest 2014.

 

After we finished with our autograph session, it was about 11:37, so we still had plenty of time to wander around.  You could purchase additional autographs, but a lot of the sessions were already sold out, and we didn’t feel like forking over more money.  Plus to be honest, I get a little burned out on autographs after a while.  You could walk through the Indians’ clubhouse, though, so we decided to cruise through that.  Zach McAllister was hanging out inside taking pictures with fans in the locker room area.  As someone who is barely over five feet tall, I almost came up to McAllister’s shoulders in my picture.

Equipment was in the lockers as a visual aid.  It made you wish the would put it on and start playing.

Equipment was in the lockers as a visual aid. It made you wish the would put it on and start playing.

We got to see Terry Francona’s office:

Note the giant bucket of bubble gum in the back left corner of the photo.

Note the giant bucket of bubble gum in the back left corner of the photo.

One of the more unique things I saw happened to be taped to a wall across from Francona’s office.  There was a painting on the wall of bullpen coach Kevin Cash, with the headline to an article attached to it.   The article was about pitching coach Mickey Callaway aiding in Ubaldo Jimenez’s turn around, and someone had written “What about Cash?” above the title in the clipping.

You don't hear Cash's name mentioned as often as Callaway's.

You don’t hear Cash’s name mentioned as often as Callaway’s.

 

We also took a peak in the weight room while we were there:

You could take a few swings in the batting cages, but you weren't allowed to give the weights a shot.

You could take a few swings in the batting cages, but you weren’t allowed to give the weights a shot.

 

After our tour of the clubhouse, we went into the main area of the Tribe Fest.  Terry Francona and assistant general manager Mike Chernoff were discussing the team on the stage.  There were snacks and souvenirs for sale, and a decent sized group of people despite the weather:

A sizable crowd gathered to listen to Francona and Chernoff.

A sizable crowd gathered to listen to Francona and Chernoff.

 

There were also some events upstairs – we decided to go look around the Club section where there was a photo station with Indians players.  We decided to take a break and go look at the (somewhat depressing) snow-covered field:

Believe it or not, opening day is just over two months away.

Believe it or not, opening day is just over two months away.

 

After that, we felt like we’d done all we really wanted to do.  It was just after noon, so all of that hassle for just over an hour at Tribe Fest.  I think if you had kids, or maybe if you had more autograph tickets, it may have been more exciting.  It seemed like there were some cool things there for kids, but I’m probably too big to be allowed into whatever inflatable thing they had there for them.  It was still a lot more organized than last year, even if it cost more and the weather didn’t really cooperate.  As you look at the snow piling up this weekend, just remember – opening day is right around the corner.

It's tough to visualize it right now, but it will be here before we know it.

It’s tough to visualize it right now, but it will be here before we know it.

 

 

4 Comments

  • Go tribe says:

    I live out of town and always wanted to go to Tribe Fest. Thanks for your article, felt like I was there.

    • Stephanie Liscio says:

      It was a really nice fan fest. It was well organized and people seemed to really enjoy themselves. And supposedly attendance was really up over last year, despite the weather.

  • Swift says:

    Why do you say “believe it or not, opening day is just two months away”? How many opening days have looked exactly like that? :D

    • Stephanie Liscio says:

      I swear to you, 2007 honestly crossed my mind as I was writing that. And then I thought, “NO…OPTIMISM!” So I’ve probably just cursed them to snow in 2 months. Although since I’m springing for Club seats for my dad and I (in case it’s cold and/or rainy) so it will probably be 80 and sunny. We sat there last year on opening day and it ended up being pretty nice.