Be a Big Leaguer at Play Ball Park!
By Vince Guerrieri

Be a Big Leaguer at Play Ball Park!

MLB All-Star Game in Cleveland Offers Family Fun for All

The Indians are hosting the Major League All-Star Game for the sixth time (the most by any single team), and the 90th Midsummer Classic will bring with it a host of activities in and around Cleveland.

The centerpiece is the game itself, scheduled for Tuesday night, with the Home Run Derby the night before. Sunday night will be the Celebrity All-Star Game at 5 p.m., preceded by a couple songs from Welshly Arms, and then the MLB Futures Game, followed by a performance by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

Fans who don’t have tickets to the games can still get a taste of the All-Star experience, thanks to Play Ball Park in downtown Cleveland. Typically, the All-Star Game brings with it FanFest, an event at a local convention center featuring clinics, autograph sessions, historic exhibits and basically everything a fan could want to see.

This year will have those indoor events at the Huntington Convention Center, with exhibits by the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Jackie Robinson Museum, among others.  And if you’re an autograph fan, or just want to meet some of your favorite players, Play Ball Park – and really, downtown Cleveland in general – will be a target-rich environment. There will be plenty of autograph opportunities, from current players to former Indians to Hall of Famers, and players have also been known to conduct question-and-answer sessions and baseball clinics at the event. (There will also be an event at 1 p.m. Monday at the main branch of the Cleveland Public Library featuring former Indians pitchers Charles Nagy, Doug Jones and Sam McDowell.)

But this year, Major League Baseball is taking advantage of downtown Cleveland’s Mall by offering a larger event than ever before, including some elements that are outdoors – and free. The Budweiser Clydesdales will be there (because who doesn’t like horses?) as well as a baseball field – which will feature some major leaguers greeting fans and giving lessons. There will even be a zipline high above, if that’s your thing (tickets for that are sold separately).

The outdoor events culminate with concerts Friday and Saturday by Twenty-One Pilots and the Killers, respectively. (The concerts are free, but tickets are required – and have all been given away, according to MLB.)

All-Star festivities even extend to the city’s east side, as League Park – the former home of the Indians – hosts the Commissioner’s Cup Youth Baseball Tournament. The Baseball Heritage Museum will be open for expanded hours throughout the weekend as well for those interested in baseball history.

So even if you don’t have a ticket to any of the games, it’s still possible to get your all-star fix this weekend in Cleveland.

About the Author

Vincent Guerrieri has been a writer for all of his professional life. He graduated from Bowling Green State University in Ohio with a bachelor's degree. His works include writing for newspapers in major cities, online news sources, regional publications, public relations/speech writing, and as a contributor to the Ohio. Find It Here. travel blog.