You don't have to have a ticket to the big game or a big bank account to celebrate America's pastime this week and next in Cleveland.

There are plenty of baseball-related sights to see and many of them are free.

Here are just a few places to stop and take a selfie (or two or three) to show your All-Star spirit and, who knows, you might even learn a thing or two about the game's history and lore.

 

Say cheese and cabbage

Let's face it. Documenting the experience is just about as important as the experience itself.

When the Republicans came to town a couple summers back to pick Trump, the city rolled out some nifty script Cleveland signs to create the perfect photo.

There's a couple of the signs along the lakefront but the baseball perfect one is located at the corner of Abbey Avenue and West 14th Street overlooking the Flats and Progressive Field.

The sign is also within smelling distance of Sokolowski's University Inn and homemade pierogi, chicken paprikash and stuffed cabbage.

 

Baseball monuments

You can walk among giants ... statues that is.

It's free to walk around the outside of Progressive Field along East 9th Street and take in the statues of Indians great Bob Feller and modern hero Jim Thome.

If you stand on your tippy toes and strain your neck, you might even catch a glimpse of the ballpark's Heritage Park just inside of the gate. The small park notes the milestones of the Indians over the years.

You can also sit for a spell on a curving row of benches that spell out "Who's on First?" to honor the classic Abbot and Costello comedy routine.

 

Catching culture

The Cleveland Museum of Art is home to some 61,000 works of art from around the world.

There are prized artworks from Monet to Picasso to Vincent van Gogh. The stately art museum is even home to a giant baseball mitt.

The work, "Standing Mitt with Ball," by American artist Claes Thure Oldenburg, can be found in the museum's giant atrium. The art museum is located in the city's University Circle area and, best yet, it is free to get inside.

 

Iconic sign

Chief Wahoo — the either beloved or reviled Cleveland Indians mascot — who the team officially retired from Progressive Field after last season, can be found at the Cleveland History Center.

The giant Chief Wahoo sign that once stood outside of the old Municipal Stadium, before Progressive Field opened some 25 years ago, has a permanent home in the place run by the Western Reserve Historical Society.

The sign is an eye-catching centerpiece of the Cleveland Starts Here exhibit.

The museum charges an admission ($10 for adults and $5 for kids), but you can also check out its collection of antique cars, the Euclid Beach Carousel and remnants of the city's old Millionaires Row, where the city's rich and famous once lived.

For All-Star week, they have brought out some Indians memorabilia from the collection for its community cases highlighting Cleveland history.

 

Baseball museum

The Baseball Heritage Museum in the old ticket house at the famed League Park — home to the city's first professional baseball teams — can trace its roots to the last time the city hosted the All-Star Game in 1997.

Robert Zimmer put out his collection of baseball memorabilia in the family's namesake jewelry store to celebrate the city's hosting of the All-Star game. The collection eventually found its way to League Park where it has grown over the ensuing years.

The museum marks the city's role in baseball history from the Cleveland Spiders to the Indians and the greats who played at League Park. There are pieces of the ballpark that saw its last game played in 1946, including programs and actual seats.

There are also uniforms, gloves and shoes from former players. You can even chat face to face with Babe Ruth through a nifty interactive display.

Admission is free, but donations are accepted. The museum will have extended hours for the All Star game and will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Monday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday. The museum is typically closed Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

 

Walk in history

You can take a stroll outside of the museum at the old League Park at the corner of Lexington Avenue and East 66th Street and relive in your mind a place where some of the greats once stepped up to the plate and where the Tris Speaker-led Indians won the World Series in 1920.

It is now a city park and home to a little league field, but you can get a feel for what it once looked like as you stroll along a brick wall that has large murals of famous faces like young Cleveland player Cy Young, who threw the first pitch when the ballpark opened in 1891.

It was also here that Ruth hit his 500th home run in 1929, and where Joe DiMaggio's consecutive hitting streak ended at 56 games in 1941. The streak was snapped the very next night at Municipal Stadium, as the Indians played games at both ballparks back then.

The last major league game played there was on Sept. 21, 1946, when the Indians played the Detroit Tigers. They lost in 11 innings.

 

Sad final chapter

Not far from League Park is the final resting place for a sad footnote to the Indians championship 1920 season.

Baseball fans to this day make the pilgrimage to Ray Chapman's grave at Lake View Cemetery off Euclid Avenue. Some leave behind baseballs, coins, baseball caps and even light candles.

The Indians shortstop is the only major league player ever to die as the result of an injury suffered during a game.

Chapman, 29, was hit in the head by a pitch thrown by the New York Yankees' Carl Mays on Aug. 17, 1920, at the Polo Grounds. (He died 12 hours later in a New York hospital.)

After the death, umpires were required to immediately replace any dirty or scuffed up balls so the batter could better spot it as it is thrown to the plate. Witnesses at the game say Chapman never moved out of the way of the pitch.

The so-called spitball was banned after the 1920 season. Batting helmets would not be required in the American League until the late 1950s.

 

Craig Webb can be reached at cwebb@thebeaconjournal.com.