Southsider Voice correspondent
The Indianapolis Indians have four home stands left this season at Victory Field, and the Tribe is hoping to win enough of those games and away dates to secure its third consecutive International League West Division championship.
The Indians’ current four-game home stand against Charlotte continues today at 1:35 p.m. and Thursday at 7:05 p.m. The Tribe returns to face Toledo and Rochester, Aug. 2-10; Louisville and Toledo, Aug. 17-22; and Louisville and Columbus, Aug. 26-30.
Aside from the competition level, the Indians continue to provide economical sports entertainment. Before Victory Field opened July 11, 1996, the Tribe’s home since 1931 had been located on West 16th Street. The facility was known as Bush Stadium before the Tribe left for their new digs and was called Perry Stadium from its infancy until 1941 and Victory Field from 1942-67.
More than 10 million spectators have walked through the gates at Victory Field since it was built Downtown. The stadium is renowned as the Best Minor League Ballpark in America. Its neighbors are the Indianapolis Zoo, Indiana State Museum, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art and the NCCA Hall of Champions.
The Indians’ popularity is due to the team’s competitiveness each year and reasonable admission prices ($10, $12 or $16 for adults) with lower prices for youngsters 14 and under.
Vice President and General Manager Cal Burleson, a former Franklin Township resident, contends that a variety of promotions attract fans to Victory Field. Burleson is in his 40th year with the Indians and has been honored as one of minor league baseball’s top executives. Daughter Heather Siminski graduated from Perry Meridian.
Promotions include: Monday dollar menu with hot dogs, peanuts, Cracker Jack, popcorn and potato chips $1 each; two-for-one Tuesdays by picking up a voucher at McAlister’s Deli locations; Thursday value nights include admission, a T-shirt, a hot dog and unlimited soda; Friday fireworks Aug. 30; and children 14 and under eat free on Sundays by presenting a voucher for a hot dog, a bottle of water and a bag of chips.
And fans get to see the major league stars of tomorrow at Victory Field, where all-time greats Al Lopez, Harmon Killebrew, Roger Maris, Don Buford, Dave Concepcion, Ken Griffey and Randy Johnson played.
The Indians are the Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, whose Tribe “graduates” are Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, Jose Tabatha and rookie Gregory Polanco, all of whom can be seen roaming the field at PNC Park.