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Countdown To Pitchers And Catchers: #10 Max Alvis

| On 10, Feb 2012

Today continues our countdown to the start of Indians pitchers and catchers reporting to Goodyear, Arizona on February 20. We’ll count down the days, profiling a former Indian who wore the corresponding number. Some players will be memorable, others just our favorites and some, the only one we could find who wore that number. Today, we chronicle the career of Max Alvis.

By Mike Brandyberry

It takes a lot to be a major league baseball star, hard work, skill and some luck. Even when it all comes together, things can change in an instance. That’s the story of Indians’ third baseman, Max Alvis.

Alvis was signed as a free agent by the Indians in 1958 and broke into the big leagues in 1962, with a cup of coffee September. In 1963, Alvis’ true rookie season, he shined. He hit. 274, with 22 home runs and 64 runs batted in. At only 25-years old, it appeared Alvis would be a budding star for the Tribe.

However, during the 1964 season Alvis suffered spinal meningitis and was sidelined for six weeks of the season. His numbers plummeted, hitting only .252, but still with 18 home runs and 55 runs batted in. He never seemed to be the same player after his bout with meningitis.

Alvis was an all star in 1965 and 1967 on lackluster Indians teams. Despite his all star appearances, he never found the stardom it appeared he was headed for during his rookie season. After his final all star appearance in 1967, his numbers began a rapid decline. He hit only .223 in 1968 and lost his starting position at the end of the season. After another struggling season in 1969, he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers before the 1970 season began.

After a struggling season with the Brewers, he was released and out of baseball. Alvis retired from baseball with a career .247 average, 111 home runs and 373 runs batted in over nine seasons.