Carlos Baerga, Gaylord Perry highlight Cleveland Indians Opening Day festivities


Newly renovated Right Field Gate will be focal point of Opening Day

The Cleveland Indians open their season on April 6 against the Houston Astros before making their way home to Progressive Field for their home opener on Friday, April 10.

Sold out in 11 minutes, this is the 22nd home opener at Progressive Field and the 23rd consecutive Opening Day sell out, dating back to the team’s final season at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Tribe legends Gaylord Perry, who will throw out the ceremonial first pitch, and Carlos Baerga, who will sign autographs in before the game, highlight the festivities.

Progressive Field will also open the newly renovated Right Field Gate with a special balloon launch. Other events featured Opening Day are:

The Spazmatics, a popular Cleveland-area 80s band

-Family-friendly activities including Jenga, speed sketching and jugglers

-Colors presentation by members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps, while an oversized American flag consumes the field

Zach McAllister will make his first start of the season in the game, as the Tribe welcomes the division foe Detroit Tigers to Downtown Cleveland.

Nick Swisher to make Cleveland Indians spring debut on Wednesday

Jul 12, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians designated hitter Nick Swisher (33) walks back to the dugout after striking out during the seventh inning against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field. The White Sox beat the Indians 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Still recovering from surgery on both knees, Nick Swisher will play in his first spring game for the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday. He will not play the field, instead debuting as the designated hitter. According to manager Terry Francona, Swisher will travel with the team to Houston for Opening Day, but will start the season on the disabled list. At the conclusion of the opening series, Swisher will return to Goodyear, Ariz. to play in some minor league games.

While the Indians are still not putting a timetable on Swisher’s return, they have acknowledged the goal is for him to be able to play back-to-back games in the outfield at Akron or Columbus to prove his knees can handle the load. Cleveland does not want to limit Swisher to designated hitter, as Francona has said he plans to use a few other players — namely Brandon Moss, David Murphy and Ryan Raburn, along with Swisher — to fill the role.

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