Finding Your Way Around Classic Park
Finding Your Way Around Classic Park
by Malcolm MacMillan
- Walk of fame area worth checking out
- Kids' play area behind left field bleachers
If you visit Classic Park, you'll most likely park in the team's lot across the road from the ballpark. While some lots that require a few minutes' walk to the gates are annoying, this is one of the best walks you'll get in the Minors. After leaving your car, take the steps up to the bridge over the road and walk across. The bridge is decorated with Classic Park and Captains logos, which help get you pumped for the game before you even buy your ticket. Once you reach the other side of the bridge, you'll pass through a small parking lot and into the pavilion in front of the park.
The main gates are straight ahead up a short flight of steps and the ticket office is on the right. Depending on the day, there might be a local radio station set up in the pavilion or other local businesses with booths.
When the gates open, decide whether you'll run to the outfield area to look for batting practice balls, head to field level or outside the clubhouses for autographs or just walk around. If the latter is your plan, you'll have plenty of things to see and do at Classic Park.
Immediately to your right upon entering the main gates is the team's store, aptly named the Cargo Hold. It has the usual items you'd expect to see at any MiLB park, and because of Eastlake's close proximity to Cleveland, you can also find a few Indians items.
If you continue along the concourse behind first base, you'll pass a number of concession stands, the game's starting lineups and other attractions. The lineups board is hand written, but extremely modern at the same time; it provides QC codes for you to scan with your smartphone to access the rosters and stats for each team, as well as up-to-date Midwest League standings.
When you get to the end of the first base concourse, you'll see a group picnic area, a grassy berm behind the right field fence and a gate that leads to a path that runs behind the scoreboard and advertisement boards. If the gate is open, follow the path through the team's walk of fame, which has plaques for several Captains alumni. Note that if post-game fireworks are scheduled, this area will be closed to fans for safety reasons.
Down the third base concourse, you can look at memorabilia related to the Captains' 2010 Midwest League first-half championship, including the league trophy, signed bases and clippings from local media. In the left field corner, you'll see a group picnic area, a large concession called Castaway's Bar and a speed pitch area. The Captains provide a unique speed pitch setup -- you throw at a mannequin dressed as a catcher, but there's also a full-size batter standing next to the plate.
Behind the left field bleachers is a large kids' play area featuring inflatable games, slides and a more traditional play structure. Because the play area is directly behind the bleachers, parents sitting in this area are able to watch their kids while still enjoying the game.
Fans who feel the need to go back to their car during the game are allowed to do so at Classic Park. Make sure to exit via the first base or third base gate and remember to get your hand stamped to ensure re-entry. The fan assistance center is located in the concourse behind home plate and the first aid center is behind Section 108. Washrooms are located behind sections 105, 106, 110, 115 and 116. The park's family washroom is behind Section 118 down the third base line.
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