Posts By Bob Toth
July 15, 1948
Steve Gromek gave Cleveland just the start it needed on its long East Coast road trip, as his complete game effort paced the Indians to a 6-1 victory in Philadelphia against the second-place Athletics.
In just his second start of the season for the Indians, Gromek (3-1) allowed just a run in nine innings to take the first game of the twi-night double header at Shibe Park in Philadelphia. The victory gives Cleveland some slight breathing room in the standings, increasing their lead in the American League to a game and a half.
July 15, 1948
The Cleveland Indians head east for a lengthy 15-game road trip through the east coast American League cities, starting with a four-game series beginning Thursday against the Philadelphia Athletics. It is the third time the Indians have headed out on an east coast swing this season.
The Indians (45-28) come to the City of Brotherly Love with just a half-game lead over the second place Athletics and a two and a half game lead over the third place New York Yankees. They have fared well against the A’s this season, posting an 8-3 record so far against the Connie Mack-led squad. They have won three in a row against the A’s.
Criticism of the Cleveland Indians’ lack of activity this offseason has not just come from fans of the ball club. It has also come from the national media, where some have gone so far as to call the Indians losers of the annual Winter Meetings while others have opined that the team’s lack of aggressiveness and free spending could end the upcoming season before it even begins due to other upgrades within both their division and league.
The Indians, who finished just one game in back of the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central and exited the postseason after a one-game AL Wild Card loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, have been an almost non-existent and irrelevant player in the free agent and trade markets so far this offseason.
For many fans, this is a significant problem.
The American League Central has been a flurry of free agent activity and trades so far this offseason. In fact, big money has been changing hands from East Coast to West Coast in the last few weeks and only seems to be heating up more.
That is, except from the Cleveland Indians.
Unlike the offseason that followed the 2012 season, the Indians have been quiet, causing tension amongst some fans who are waiting (impatiently) for the first big move by the club after an active retooling last year that had the team frequently linked to names on the free agent market.
This week the DTTWLN staff is doing an in-depth look at the Cleveland Indians attendance. While everyone knows the Indians have an attendance problem, how they necessarily got to this point appears to be an explanation with many answers including play on the field, population and economic changes and improvements in technology. Regardless of the reasons, one thing is certain, the Indians have an attendance problem. This morning, we examine why Clevelanders seem to have a different kind of passion for the Browns versus the Indians.
Previous Stories This Week:
From the Perfect Storm to the Indians Attendance Disaster by Bob Toth
Times Have Changed While Indians Attendance Issues Have Worsened by Mike Brandyberry
Indians Attendance Issues Have Spanned Over 65 Years by Vince Guerrieri
The Tipping Point in this Generation’s Attendance Decline by Vince Guerrieri
The Dyamics of Dynamic Pricing by Mike Brandyberry
There’s a double standard in Cleveland regarding several of its professional sports franchises.
The Cleveland Indians, who were competitive and involved in the playoffs in 2013 after an expensive retooling process, aggressively engaged the northeast Ohio market with an ad campaign prior to the season involving several key figures in the organization in an attempt to get fans down to Progressive Field.
Despite the efforts of the fairly well-received commercials, the Indians drew the third-worst average home attendance in all of baseball. Drawing just under 1.6 million fans in 2013, they had the second-fewest number of people in the seats at a baseball game on the season, proving once again that Cleveland remains a “Browns Town”.
Time and time again throughout the 2013 season, the attendance at Progressive Field has been a topic of discussion.
After low attendance totals through the cold and windy month of April, it was said that fan participation would increase with warmer weather and the end of the school year for local students. As the season rolled on, the Indians remained in contention, and yet, the number of empty green seats always seemed to outnumber the number of fans who showed.
The excuses from the fan base continued to trickle in all year long.
“They’re not good enough to take down the Tigers.”
“They’ll just blow it just like they do every year.”
June 21, 1948
“It’s a record!”
So proclaimed the booming voice of Cleveland President Bill Veeck to the 82,781 fans who packed the stadium on Sunday afternoon to watch the Indians sweep the Philadelphia Athletics in a twinbill.
The attendance figure stands as the single largest crowd in major league history.
June 20, 1948
Cleveland hurler Bob Lemon baffled Philadelphia hitters over nine scoreless innings and aided his own cause with a pair of extra base hits, as the Indians swept the Sunday twin bill from the Athletics with a 10-0 shutout.
Lemon (10-5) becomes the first pitcher in the American League to reach 10 wins with his fourth shutout of the year. He is the league leader with 65 strikeouts and 10 complete games. He allowed four singles and two walks while striking out 10, his highest single game output since May 25 against Washington. No Athletics base runners reached third base.
June 20, 1948
Pitching in front of a record crowd, Cleveland’s Bob Feller gave his team a chance to win and his offense did just that, giving him four runs of support in the bottom of the seventh as the Indians took game one of the twin bill by a 4-3 final.
Feller (6-7) allowed three runs, including a pair of solo home runs, scattered across three separate innings. He went the distance in the ball game, allowing seven hits in total while walked two and striking out six. He retired at one point 10 straight batters and ended his personal five-game losing streak.
June 20, 1948
It is hard to believe it has been just two years today that Bill Veeck walked through League Park and took ownership of the Cleveland Indians.
The jubilation circling the anniversary of his assumption of the leadership role in Cleveland is not because he is the charismatic and recognizable face of the franchise, but more due to the slew of changes implemented within the organization that seem to have drastically changed the future of the franchise.
For the second time in a week, a trade was made around Major League Baseball that had an effect on the Cleveland Indians’ offseason.
On Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Angels agree upon a trade centered around third baseman David Freese and outfielder Peter Bourjos. On Wednesday, the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers completed a swap of former All-Stars Prince Fielder, Ian Kinsler, and bags and bags of cash.
The early wave of trade activity may be an indication of things to come over the remaining few months of baseball’s time off.
June 19, 1948
The Cleveland Indians gave themselves a little bit of breathing room in the division on Saturday, as they ended their five-game losing skid by blanking the Philadelphia Athletics by a 4-0 final.
Indians starter Bob Muncrief left the game and went to the hospital for X-rays near his right elbow after being hit by a line drive off of the bat of Philadelphia’s Hank Majeski. Muncrief had led the way for the Tribe, facing the minimum number of batters through the first six innings. He erased both a leadoff single to start the game and a walk in the third on double plays. He did not face any substantial trouble until the seventh, when the A’s ran themselves out of a huge scoring opportunity.