***editor’s note: this story was originally published on 9/23/15.
The 1908 season – like so many since – ended in disappointment for Cleveland baseball fans.
But it was a wild ride for the last two weeks of the season.
Going into the series with the Boston Red Sox on September 17, the Naps were in second place in the American League, tied with the Detroit Tigers in the win column with 78, but with four more losses, putting them two back with 16 to play.
The Naps – still named for player-manager Napolean Lajoie – took the first game, a 1-0 shutout, but gained no ground. The following day, pitcher Bob Rhoads was in less than top form, loading the bases on a couple occasions and letting in an unearned run in the second inning. He walked Doc Gessler, who advanced to second on a sacrifice by Jack Thoney. Heinie Wagner’s grounder was fumbled by Lajoie, putting Gessler on third, and a wild pitch scored him for the Red Sox to take the lead.
Addie Joss throws the first perfect game in franchise history as the second place Cleveland Naps defeat the third place Chicago White Sox, 1-0, in what some deemed at the time as the “Greatest Game in History of Big League Baseball” (The Plain Dealer, October 3, 1908).
The 2016 version of the Cleveland Indians has been hyped nationwide for their frightening starting rotation options, a strong group of right-handed pitchers who have looked good over the last several seasons and rival some of the best arms in the game. In 1902, a legendary Cleveland pitcher, who excelled for much of his nine-year career, began his journey on this date.
Back in the second season of the Cleveland franchise, a young arm just two weeks past his 22nd birthday took the mound at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis to begin what would ultimately be a tragically short Hall of Fame career as one of the more dominating pitchers to ever hurl for the club in the 116-year history of the organization.
Tragedy strikes the Cleveland Naps franchise as, just two days after his 31st birthday, pitcher Addie Joss dies from tubercular meningitis.
Joss debuted with the Cleveland franchise, then still the Bronchos, in 1902. He won 17 games and threw a …
Addie Joss is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame through selection by the Special Veterans Committee. He is joined by longtime baseball executive Larry MacPhail.
Joss is a rare exception to the other players he joined in the Hall, …
1907 – Heinie Berger allows just one hit to New York as the Naps defeat the Highlanders, 6-0, giving Cleveland back-to-back one-hitters.
Addie Joss threw his one-hitter the day before in a 3-1 victory. Berger was even better, taking a …