CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Indians enjoy enthusiastic fan support as they start a four-game series with the Detroit Tigers.
Detroit is in first place in the AL Central with the Indians following by just a game and a half.
This battle for the lead as both teams head toward the season's midway point is bringing fans out to Progressive Field from far and wide.
Max Leupp and Kelly Knueve, in from Findlay, were at the team shop all decked out in Tribe gear, but still bought more.
"We needed a new hat and a new shirt for tonight," said Knueve. Leupp and Knueve were eagerly awaiting Friday night's game.
"Knowing it's a game against the Tigers," said Leupp, "we took a few vacation days, came out here to see the Indians beat the Tigers and watch some fireworks too."
It's a game that should be the start of an exciting weekend.
"We have Sugardale dollar dog night, we've got fireworks, patriotic music," said Indians Senior Director of Communications Curtis Danburg. "We're expecting the biggest crowd we had since Opening Day when the Yankees were in town."
Despite the higher cost of the quickly vanishing tickets, Indians fan Vincent Carlson in from North Muskegon, Michigan with friend and Tigers fan Jennifer Sleeper, was still buying in.
"We bought the $88 seats, which is more than I've ever spent probably on anything." Just before 6 p.m., the team announced the game is sold out, but there are tickets available for others during the series.
Danburg said there's a lot in store for Tribe fans during the next few days.
"We have a cap giveaway tomorrow at 4 o'clock. The first 10,000 fans get a 1904 cap. Sunday is Keybank Kids Funday. On Monday is the Omar Visquel bobblehead, courtesy of Keybank, first 10,000 fans. Gates open at 4:30 out of Gate C for that. And he'll be here throwing out the first pitch as well."
Danburg suggests cleveland.indians.mlb.com/schedule/promotions is the best place to get information and buy tickets for Indians games. Discounts are also available for online purchases.