CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians will celebrate their home opener at Progressive Field on Tuesday, April 11, and hours ahead of tonight’s season opener at the Texas Rangers, the organization announced plans to recognize the reigning American League champions.
From the recognition of the 2016 American League Championship to the bringing together of Cleveland sports greats, the Indians have a little bit of everything planned for their 24th home opener at Progressive Field.
During the pregame ceremony, the Indians’ players and coaches will receive their American League Championship rings. Then, they will raise a flag in center field and unveil a commemorative banner in the right field terraces.
Fans are encouraged to be in their seats at 3 p.m., one hour ahead of the scheduled first-pitch time of 4 p.m., to see the festivities.
Following the American League Championship celebration, Indians Hall of Famer Jim Thome, Cavaliers legend Austin Carr and Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown will throw out ceremonial first pitches ahead of the National Anthem, which will be performed by the Cleveland Orchestra’s string section.
Currently, the Cleveland Orchestra is celebrating its 99th year.
The Indians will pay tribute to each of the branches of the military, as members of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marine Corps will present the colors while 250 members of Progressive Insurance will unfurl an oversized flag in the outfield.
At the end of the National Anthem, a U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon supersonic fighter jet will perform a flyover.
The Indians, who begin their 117th season of play in the American League, will host the Chicago White Sox, an American League Central Division rival, in front of a sold-out crowd. It will mark the 25th straight sellout for a home opener.