Posts By Vince Guerrieri
The Indians’ comeback against the Tigers came up short Thursday, depriving Ryan Raburn of becoming the first position player in a year to get a win as a pitcher.
Raburn’s 1-2-3 ninth was the last time the Tigers faced Indians …
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: After a miserable year, the Indians spend some money, work the offseason and get a highly-touted new manager.
Sure, it describes this year. But it also describes the 1968 Indians, one of the few good baseball teams in Cleveland between the pennant contenders of the 1950s, and the renaissance years of the 1990s.
The 1967 Indians finished eighth in the American League, their worst spot in more than 50 years since 1914. (That was the team that lost 24 games in a month, a feat unequaled by the Indians until August 2012.) Out went Joe Adcock as Indians manager, and in came Alvin Dark.
There are some trades where both teams benefit.
And there are some trades where a team benefits in the short run – but loses out long term.
In 1987, with the trade deadline looming, the Tigers were looking for a starting pitcher, and dealt a prospect to the lowly Atlanta Braves for Doyle Alexander, who went 9-0 for the Motor City Kitties as they won the American League East on the last day of the season. But Alexander went 0-2 in the American League Championship Series as the Braves beat the Tigers and went on to win the World Series. The prospect dealt from Detroit was Michigan native John Smoltz, who went on to become one of the best pitchers in the 1990s, and compiled 200 wins, 150 saves and 3,000 strikeouts in his career.
This year’s Indians team has become known for its ability to score runs with two outs.
But on July 7, 1923, the Indians set a major league record for some two-out magic, scoring 13 runs against the Red Sox.
The Tribe was holding on to an 11-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth over the Crimson Hose in the first game of a doubleheader at League Park. Catcher Steve O’Neill drew a walk, and pitcher Stan Coveleski hit a fielder’s choice. The Red Sox took out O’Neill at second, and Coveleski was on first base.
There was a time when true doubleheaders – buying one ticket to watch two games – were a common occurrence.
In 1950, the Indians played 25 twin bills, including one memorable one June 11 at Cleveland Stadium that saw the Tribe score 28 runs in a sweep of the Philadelphia Athletics.
Bob Feller took the mound for the first game, and pitched a gem. After giving up a one-out single to Wally Moses in the first, Rapid Robert would give up just one more hit, a single in the eight to Mike Guerra. Feller walked Ferris Fain twice, and pitched his first shutout since 1948, prompting newspaper accounts of the day to say that fans got a glimpse of Feller’s old form.
In a 1988 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Wayne Garland recalled the conversation that made him the major league player with the biggest contract in 1977.
His agent, Jerry Kapstein, said he couldn’t get Garland, who had gone 20-7 …
Walter Johnson was the greatest pitcher of his day – and one of the greatest of all time.
A Kansas native, Johnson – nicknamed the Big Train for his size and his overpowering fastball – became synonymous with the nation’s capital. Johnson spent his entire playing career with the Washington Nationals/Senators, managed the team after his playing career was done, and settled in the DC area, running for Congress in Maryland. In fact, a school in Montgomery County bears his name.
But for three years, he served as manager of the Indians.
Any discussion about Cleveland coaching legacies has to begin with Browns legend Paul Brown.
Those Browns teams coached by Brown from 1946 to 1962 included many brilliant minds as assistants – like Weeb Ewbank, who went on to be the …
Of all the Indians marathon games, last Friday’s was the most recent.
I’m kind of surprised that I wasn’t at that game, not because of my well-known predilection for hot dogs, but because I have bad luck going to Indians games with extra innings or rain delays.
Robert Barr grew up in the shadow of Mulcahy Stadium in Alaska. He watched the Alaska Baseball League grow from a series of town teams to one of the best collegiate baseball leagues in the country.
And he’s trying to bring that story to a wider audience.
Without a doubt, Ty Cobb is the greatest player to ever don a Tigers’ uniform.
The Georgia Peach, nearly 90 years after his retirement, still holds the record for highest career batting average with .366. At one point, he also held the career record for stolen bases (862) and hits (4,191).
And he could have done it in an Indians uniform.
Ahhh, Mother’s Day. What better way to show your love to Mom than treating her to a baseball game?
Well, my mother would appreciate the thought, but not necessarily the game. In fact, she was the first to admit it, which is why I can count on one hand the number of baseball games to which she accompanied us.