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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | April 23, 2017

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Indians History

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 16

March 18, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 16

Cleveland third base coach Mike Sarbaugh has been the Indians’ representative for the number 16 on the field over the last several years while serving as a member of manager Terry Francona’s coaching staff, a role he has held since he was promoted to the Major League club after working as a minor league manager in the organization from 2004 to 2012.

The minor league career of the former utility man was brief, as he played in the Milwaukee Brewers organization in 1989 before spending the next five years in the Indians farm system, reaching the Triple-A level in four games at Charlotte in his season in 1994. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 17

March 17, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 17

The number 17 has disappeared from the diamond for the Cleveland Indians in recent years, last seen on the back of Shin-Soo Choo in his final season for the club in 2012.

That offseason, the Indians hired manager Terry Francona, who was spotted with the number 47 in his introductory press conference. After Choo was dealt to Cincinnati in a three-team trade that included Arizona, Francona switched over to 17. Unlike other managers around the league, Francona opts for other attire while in the dugout, so his new 17 has been replaced by an Indians hoodie, among other gear. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 18 – Mel Harder

March 16, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 18 days

Of the retired numbers in Cleveland Indians history, Mel Harder’s number 18 may be one of the lesser known and more under-appreciated of the bunch to be honored in such a way. It was largely due to Harder’s misfortune of being a Cleveland Indian during some very down years for the club during the 1930s and 1940s and retiring the season before the Tribe took the 1948 World Series.

It may have been enough to cost him a place among the baseball immortals in Cooperstown’s Hall of Fame. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 19 – Bob Feller

March 15, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 19 days

If you ask Clevelanders which player was the best to wear the number 19 while representing the city in a sporting event, chances are you will get a lot of answers naming former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar as their pick.

No knock on Bernie, but he doesn’t hold a candle in comparison to the best 19 possibly to play the game of baseball, Bob Feller. Read More

Indians Back Home in Indiana for Spring Training During World War II

March 15, 2017 |

There’s nothing like being somewhere other than Cleveland for spring training, and the Indians have definitely visited a multitude of places. In the 1920s, they visited New Orleans – enough that they saw fit to make political boss Huey Long a stockholder in the team. Currently, they’re in Arizona, a return to a location they’ve visited on and off since the 1940s. And thanks to “Major League,” Hi Corbett Field lives on in silver screen immortality as an Indians’ spring training home.

But during World War II, the Indians stayed closer to home – because they had to. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 20 – Rajai and The Judge

March 14, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 20

Rajai Davis might not have been the longest to wear 20 for Cleveland and was hardly the best to do so, but with one magical swing in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, he permanently etched his name into Indians lore.

The veteran outfielder provided a surprise jolt to the Indians lineup last season and his absence will be felt in the coming season as no player on the roster currently will replace his league-leading 43 stolen bases and electric attitude and effort that he provided the club, both on and off the field during the Indians’ run to the final moments of the 2016 season. His high-flying high-fives with teammates after wins became a common sight as the season went on and the team kept winning. He brought with him years of experience, including years of struggling to latch on to roster spots in the early portions of his career. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 21

March 13, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 21

In 1998, Cleveland retired the number 21 in honor of longtime Tribe member Bob Lemon, whose transition from a position player to a quality starting pitcher led to seven trips to the Midsummer Classic, a leading role in the 1948 and 1954 American League champion Indians teams, and ultimately, a spot in Cooperstown in the Hall of Fame.

But while Lemon last wore the number on the field as a player with the Indians in 1958, several big names would honor the work that he had done in the jersey with quality careers in a Cleveland uniform in the years to come. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 25 – Jim Thome

March 9, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 25 days

When Indians legend Jim Thome was first called up to the Major Leagues, he, the Indians, and their fans all had no idea what a ride we were all about to be put on. In fact, even Thome worried about whether or not he would be able to stick around at first. Read More

National League Abandoned Cleveland 117 Years Ago Today

March 8, 2017 |

On this date 117 years ago, Major League Baseball died in Cleveland. It wasn’t dead for long.

At the National League owners meeting, the owners voted to reduce from 12 teams to eight. Gone were Baltimore, Cleveland, Washington, and Louisville. The Cleveland team, the Spiders, was a ripe candidate for contraction. Frank and Stanley Robison owned the St. Louis team in addition to the Spiders, and systematically looted the Spiders, taking all the talent to St. Louis. The Spiders were so bad, nobody in the league wanted to come to Cleveland to play them, because attendance was so lackluster that visiting teams couldn’t recoup travel expenses. So the Spiders played 112 of their 154 games on the road – and lost 101, a record that will probably never be matched, let alone surpassed.

But all was not lost in Cleveland. Ban Johnson, a former sportswriter, was determined to start a new major league from the remnants of the Western League, a minor league. And there would be a team in Cleveland, owned by Charles Somers and John Kilfoyl. The team would bring in a familiar name to manage: James McAleer, a Youngstown native who had played for the Spiders (and Cleveland’s brief entry into the Players League in 1890). Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 29 – Andre Thornton

March 5, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 29

Sometimes you can take a ballplayer out of Cleveland, but you can’t take the Cleveland out of the ballplayer. For former Tribe slugger Andre Thornton, it turns out that he’s still got a whole lot of Cleveland left in him and he has no intention of changing that. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 32

March 2, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 32

The number 32 has been missing in regular action on the diamond for the Cleveland Indians for the last three years. That could continue on into 2017, as no player currently holds the number as his own with spring training well under way from Goodyear, Arizona.

Pitchers have been the primary wearer of 32 in recent Indians history and the last to do so, Matt Albers in 2013, was no different. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 33

March 1, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 33 days

The number 33 has a curious place in Indians history. It has been worn by a handful of prolific sluggers, generally outside of their glory years on the diamond, and at other times was on the backs of some of the better pitchers on the roster through the 1960s.

It may be unfortunate that a number linked to some great hitters was tarnished some over the last few years after being claimed by Nick Swisher. The large sum of money given to the one-time free agent, returning from the Big Apple to his former Ohio stomping grounds, may go down as one of the worst expenditures in the long history of the Indians franchise. To be fair, injuries took the wind out of Swisher’s sails and the pressures of being a cleanup hitter in the Tribe’s lineup were expectations he never was able to live up to fully. Now, Swisher has formally hung up the cleats after brief time in Atlanta and back in the minors with the New York Yankees last season and will assume the full-time roles of father and husband before his inevitable sports media career begins.

Prior to Swisher, fans trying to recall some of their favorite seasons in recent Cleveland memory may recall a pair of forces in the lineup that both contributed to playoff teams. Read More