Posted May 08, 2019 in Press Releases


Cleveland, OH -- First Pitch of Summer, presented by Progressive and KeyBank and hosted by Greater Cleveland Sports Commission will lead off an exciting summer baseball season in Northeast Ohio this year complete with community events to celebrate Cleveland’s rich baseball heritage. On June 8, over 1,000 Cleveland youth and community members will "pitch" a baseball from historic League Park to Progressive Field. The baseball will travel approximately three miles, tossed from one person to the next, on a journey to become the ball used for the ceremonial first pitch in that evening’s Cleveland Indians vs. New York Yankees game at 4:10 p.m.

A community-style festival will open First Pitch festivities at League Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The festival will include music, entertainment, baseball-themed games and displays, tours of the Baseball Heritage Museum, vendors, food trucks and autograph sessions with Cleveland Indians legends. Opening ceremonies for First Pitch will include community leaders, city officials and celebrity guests.

“First Pitch of Summer is an amazing opportunity for the community to take part in celebrating the start of summer baseball in our city,” said David Gilbert, President and CEO of Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. “This event will bring the community together in a year where Cleveland will host 2019 MLB-All Star Week in addition to showcasing the incredible history of America’s favorite pastime and giving everyone a chance to celebrate sports through a unique program.”

First Pitch of Summer baseball relay will begin at 1 p.m. “Bases” will be set up along the pitch route as pre-arranged gathering places with refreshments, restrooms and entertainment. Parking will be available at each Base. A map confirming the First Pitch route and Base locations is available online.

“Progressive is proud to support First Pitch of Summer, the city’s inaugural event to celebrate baseball in Cleveland this summer,” said Wanda Shippy, Community Engagement Manager at Progressive. “We’re delighted to welcome fans from all over to Progressive Field this baseball season and to Cleveland, our hometown since 1937.”

First Pitch of Summer and the League Park festival are free and open to the public. Those who wish to be a part of the pitch relay must pre-register. Registration is free and is available online, at all City of Cleveland Recreation Centers or by calling 216.479.6226. The first 1,000 First Pitch registrants will receive a t-shirt, access to the festival at League Park and a ticket to an upcoming Cleveland Indians home game. Visit for registration details.

“First Pitch of Summer will celebrate our city’s baseball heritage and give everyone in our community the opportunity to be part of the excitement headed to Cleveland this summer,” said Trina Evans, Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff at KeyCorp. “All of us at KeyBank are proud to support First Pitch and invite everyone to take part in this unique event in our ‘home base’ of Cleveland.”

Velocity is a community-wide initiative of Greater Cleveland Sports Commission to support and maximize the community impact of hosting some of the most significant events in sports. Cleveland will host 2019 MLB All-Star Week, 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend, 2024 NCAA DI Women’s Final Four and a potential future NFL Draft. Community events provide opportunities to extend each event’s footprint in Northeast Ohio. These programs will highlight important social issues such as diversity and inclusion and provide opportunities to underserved populations.

More information about Velocity can be found


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