Rams History Trail >> League Park

League Park, Cleveland Rams

Where: League Park

Why: The Rams played 19 of their 41 AFL and NFL home games here while they were in Cleveland, including all four of their regular-season contests leading up to their 1945 NFL championship.

Now: A beautifully restored public baseball field, replete with a replica of League Park’s famed right-foot wall along with Cleveland’s Baseball Heritage Museum, are located on the very same site at 6601 Lexington Avenue, Cleveland.

What: Though home to baseball’s Cleveland Indians, League’s Park rectangular configuration and seating capacity of 23,000 made it a surprisingly accommodating facility for football—professional as well as collegiate. Located at a trolley stop at the corner of Lexington Avenue and East 66th Street, League Park was sewn into the middle of the Hough neighborhood on the city’s East Side, with automobile parking accommodated—for a small fee, of course—by local residents and their shallow front yards. The final two NFL games there were particularly momentous. On November 11, 1945 a flash overflow crowd of 28,361 jammed into the park’s grandstands as well as a battalion of temporary bleachers erected along the right-field wall, causing the latter to collapse and injure 31—though many joyous fans engrossed in the Rams’ 20–7 victory over the hated Green Bay Packers hardly noticed. At League Park’s very last football game, on December 2, 1945, the Western Division champion Rams ran their record to 9–1 by defeating the Boston Yanks, 20–7, before 18,470. Boxing legend Jack Dempsey was on hand to help celebrate a special “day” for fan favorite, lineman Riley “Rattlesnake” Matheson. Just six weeks later, Rams owner Daniel F. Reeves announced the team was moving west to become the Los Angeles Rams.

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