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Home Road Trip Let’s Road Trip 2024: Trip #5 – Rock, Roll & Politics – Cleveland and Washington (May 17-22) – Twins Daily Front Page News

Let’s Road Trip 2024: Trip #5 – Rock, Roll & Politics – Cleveland and Washington (May 17-22) – Twins Daily Front Page News

by Staff

The Twins travel east in the middle of May in hopes of keeping the Guardians and Nationals down at the depths of their divisions. With sights and scenes abounding for fans, this road trip looks like a highlight of the season for the Twins traveler. What awaits those who care to venture to Cleveland and Washington, D.C? 

Image courtesy of © Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Guardians – May 17-19
Progressive Field
– Capacity 34,830
2023 Attendance: 1,834,068, up from 1,295,869 in 2022 (Averaged 22,643, ranked 10th out of 15 AL parks, 23rd overall MLB)

Baseball in Cleveland began in 1894. This trip takes me to the most current iteration of Cleveland baseball, Progressive Field. I grew up memorizing Major League and even parts of Major League 2 (no shame). This stadium isn’t Municipal Stadium, but it’s been around a while nonetheless. 1994 saw the building of the current iteration of the ballpark, and 2019 brought an extensive concourse renovation at the 200 level with entertainment and open walkways.

Built downtown, with plenty of surrounding neighborhood options for food and drink and a consistently winning team, Progressive Field strikes me as a ballpark that should have more fans in attendance. 2023 saw an increase in attendance, but a drop in victories. After an extensive re-brand in 2022, the Guardians look to rebuild their squad now.

One unique attribute to see is John Adam’s Drum. This dedicated fan brought the “thump” to every game since 1973 but passed away in 2023. This continuing tradition carries a new note now, and it will be interesting to see how things like this continue as the rebrand continues.

Sights around town include the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, East 4th St., and the House of Blues. Need a unique place to stay? How about the actual “A Christmas Story House.” Seriously. Leg lamp and all. Cleveland rocks, but hopefully their rebuild will continue to roll along at a snails pace.

After wrapping up the three game series against a divisional foe, the Twins continue east for a 370 mile journey to the nation’s capital for the first time since 2016 to face the Nationals.

Washington Nationals – May 20-22
Nationals Park
– Capacity 41,339
2023 Attendance: 1,865,832, down from 2,026,401 in 2022 (Averaged 23,035, ranked 13th out of 15 NL parks, 22nd overall MLB)

In 2004, the Montreal Expos’ story ended, and the Washington Nationals’ story began. After Major League Baseball took over the Expos, they brokered the move for baseball to return to Washington, D.C., after the town birthed and lost the Senators…twice. The Twins and Rangers can thank the city for their franchises, but the Nationals haven’t had much to be thankful for since 2019 saw them rise to the pinnacle and bring home the World Series. The days of Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg and Juan Soto are long gone. 2024 sees the beginning of the Joey Gallo age!

Most towns on the MLB circuit can provide a weekend of sights and sounds, but Washington, D.C., could easily take a week or more of a tourist’s time. May is a beautiful time to visit the city’s national monuments and museums, political landmarks, and coastal sights.

After the team languished at RFK Stadium for its first four years, Nationals Park opened in 2008 with much fanfare and little flair. There isn’t a distinguishing component of the stadium, but it serves as a great venue to watch baseball along the Anacostia River. With its walkable open-air outfield concourse, and its clean lines, Nationals Park focuses the attention on the actual game. With a drop in play and in attendance, will the Nationals need to re-think this strategy to attract fans? Or will this stadium continue to be a road teams’ heaven? The Nationals have had a losing record at home since that 2019 run, and Twins fans hope that momentum continues at least until mid-May!

 

The Twins will be traveling 2,225 miles for six games, zero off days, and ____ wins?

How do you think the Twins will fare on this eastern trek? Anyone planning to go to Cleveland or Washington, D.C.? Any favorite watering holes or tourist traps? Baseball is almost here Twins Territory…let’s get talking!

Let’s Road Trip is a series of stories exploring the Twins’ 13 road trips during the 2024 season.  I will focus on stadium highlights, attributes, Twins history, and community amenities.  Potential pitfalls and roadblocks get considered, and travel considerations get mentioned.  My handy-dandy Baseball Road Trips by Timothy Malcolm and Moon travel guides will be a go-to for this conversation.

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