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Browns rookies tour Cleveland

Posted Jun 18, 2013

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns’ 2013 rookie class toured the city of Cleveland on Tuesday, visiting the team’s Youth Football Camp, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and taking in an Indians baseball game.

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns’ 27 rookies served as guest instructors at the team’s Youth Football Camp, toured the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and took in batting practice from the warning track before watching the Cleveland Indians-Kansas City Royals baseball game at Progressive Field.

“I came from California, and getting adjusted to the city is helping me feel the fan base here,” said defensive back Leon McFadden. “That’s a good thing.”

During batting practice, the rookies got the opportunity to interact with players and coaches from the Indians and Royals.

“This is definitely the coolest experience I’ve had at Progressive Field,” added outside linebacker and Cleveland native Justin Staples. “I’m usually up in the ‘nosebleed seats’ somewhere, but now, actually being on the field watching batting practice, getting to talk to some of the players, getting to talk to (manager) Terry Francona, it’s an experience I’ll never forget.”

Watching batting practice was especially meaningful for McFadden, whose father was a professional baseball pitcher who spent parts of three seasons with the Houston Astros organization.

“As a kid, I grew up playing baseball,” McFadden said. “He would always throw BP (batting practice) to me after dinner or before dinner. It’s just good to be around baseball again. I miss it, but I’m enjoying it with my fellow rookies.”

At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the rookies received a tour of the archives, which holds items that are not currently on display in the Hall’s main exhibits. They also got an opportunity to see exhibits dedicated to the Rolling Stones -- who recently celebrated their 50th anniversary in the music industry -- as well as Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson.

“That was probably my fourth time going there, and it’s something that doesn’t get old,” Staples said. “There’s so much history and tradition, it’s almost like a legacy is in that building. Every time you go in there, you learn something new about some artist.

“It’s a cool thing being that I can be the eyes and ears of the city for (the rookies) to let them know the Rock Hall is something great and let them know there’s different things and getting out to Progressive Field and let them know the fanfare that surrounds the Indians.”

Outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo felt like Tuesday’s tour of the city of Cleveland was a good way for his first-year teammates to learn about each other.

“We’re bonding as a rookie class,” Mingo said. “A lot of the guys are coming together. The older guys aren’t here right now, so it’s just us and we know what we’re going through. We’re here at the same time and are leaning on each other to get through.”