CLEVELAND - Tribe fan Joe Lammel made sure he didn't waste his lunch hour the day before Opening Day Thursday. E.4th Street's CLE Clothing had plenty of uniquely Cleveland gear to show off for Cleveland's first home game of the 2014 season.
Lammel scored a shirt that he spotted being sorted behind the scenes meant for its debut only on Indians Opening Day.
"I got one they didn't even have on the shelf yet. I saw them pulling it out of the box and I made them sell me one," said Lammel.
Lammel held up the new design with red and white lettering over a dark blue shirt, which read, 'WHEN YOU PLAY Cleveland- YOU PLAY THE WHOLE CITY- The best damn fans in the land.
Lammel was elated. "I'm all ready for the game tomorrow!"
Rain and temperature may play a factor in tomorrow's game. It may also play a factor in how fans dress for their ticket to a possibly wet seat.
West Marine on St. Clair Ave. in Cleveland, specialists in boating wear for Lake Erie-style boaters used to buying heavy duty inclement weather gear, found Tribe fans loading up on top quality clothing. A plastic bag-style poncho was not going to be their undoing for Opening Day. Assistant manager and serious Cleveland sports fan, John Absi, said he is going to opening day and, "We will have rain guaranteed, 100% chance." "You better dress in layers for comfort tomorrow."
West Marine's display of wet weather gear included waterproof pants which Absi testified protecting him in many a cold, wet Browns game.
"If you want to stay dry, gear up like a boater does," said Absi. "These storm pants, they're about a hundred bucks. I've worn them to all the Browns games. They're lightweight, completely waterproof and they breathe. They're perfect," said Absi.
While Tribe fans scrambled on the last day before the big game, The Indians considered this the last day of preparation. Assistant Director Of Communications Anne Keegan said the Indians staff has been working toward Friday's festivities since the first day after the 2013 season ended.
"As soon as the fans clear out of here after the the last game, we start getting ready for the next season. We're just about ready. The concession stands are stocked. The merchandise stands are stocked. The field...the weather hasn't cooperated much, but the filed is as ready as it can be," said Keegan.
Besides the creature comforts Tribe fans are used to each game in the past, one spot at Progressive Field will be open to those not holding season tickets this year.
"The Terrace Club is newly designed this year, which this year is open to the public. Fans can go on to opentable.com, make reservations for the entire season and come up and enjoy dinner before the game at the Terrace Club before the game," added Keegan.