Larry Doby settled into the outfield in Cleveland Stadium and was called the best center fielder in the game by the Sporting News in 1950. Doby led the American League with 32 home runs and 126 RBI as the Indians won the pennant in 1954.
He was traded to Chicago after the 1955 season, and spent two years at Comiskey before coming back to Cleveland. The Indians traded him to Detroit in 1959 for Tito Francona. Doby was the first black player for the Tigers. Bill Veeck traded midseason for him to play for the White Sox that year as well.
Doby, the second black player in the majors, also became the second black manager. Doby was a coach for the Indians when he was bypassed for Frank Robinson, the first black manager, and went to Chicago, where he was reunited once again with Veeck. He became the Pale Hose manager in 1978 after Veeck fired Bob Lemon, and resigned after the 1979 season.
September 28, 1948
The Cleveland Indians and team president Bill Veeck like to give their fans a show on and off the field. On Tuesday evening they did just that while starting to take advantage of the American League pennant race.
Cleveland pounded out 13 hits and Gene Bearden threw a four-hit shutout to defeat the Chicago White Sox 11-0 in front of 60,405 spectators on Joe Early Night. The evening was orchestrated to honor the common fan, like Joe Early. The offensive outburst and shutout was anything but a common game on the shores of Lake Erie.
The victory, combined with afternoon losses by the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, gives the Tribe a two-game lead in the standings over both contenders with just four games remaining. If Cleveland can win three of their final four games, they will clinch the pennant, regardless of what the other two teams do.
September 26, 1948
It’s not over, but the view for the Cleveland Indians could not look much better as they head home for the final five games of the season.
Bob Feller, a pitcher who has looked past his prime for much of the summer, has found the fountain of youth in the last month and pitched the Tribe back into sole possession of first place. Feller hurled a five-hitter this afternoon, allowing just one hit before the fourth inning and another afterward. The win, combined with the 6-2 victory by the New York Yankees over the Red Sox today, gives the Indians a one-game lead on both contenders with five games remaining.
September 11, 1948
In just his first full season as a starting pitcher, Bob Lemon has asserted himself as the ace of the Indians staff several times, but this afternoon may have been the culmination of his work to transform from a utility player to a star pitcher.
Lemon won his 20th game of the season after a rocky start with his control in the game. The Indians plated three early runs and had a six-run outburst to give the Tribe a 9-1 victory and sweep of Saturday’s doubleheader with the St. Louis Browns. It is the Indians’ sixth straight victory. Cleveland battered southpaw Al Gerheauser of St. Louis in his first big league appearance since June. The lefty was just recalled from Toledo yesterday.
August 22, 1948
The Indians now find themselves in a precarious position as a big series with the Red Sox looms.
A ninth-inning rally was stalled as the Tribe dropped a 4-3 decision before more than 57,000 fans in the nightcap of a doubleheader against the White Sox, who have taken three of four from the Tribe in this series. Prior to that, they had beaten the Indians three times in the previous 15 matchups.
With the loss, the Indians’ lead over Boston has been trimmed to half a game. The Red Sox beat the Senators 4-2 on Sunday. Steve Gromek is expected to take the hill for the Tribe in the first game of the series, and Crimson Hose manager “Marse Joe” McCarthy is expected to give the nod to Joe Dobson.
August 20, 1948
When the Indians left spring training and headed to Cleveland one of their biggest question marks was their outfield play. The Tribe was starting three new outfielders from a year ago and each was unproven in their own way.
A lot has changed in four months.
August 18, 1948
It’s not a nice way to treat old friends, but hopefully the Browns will understand.
Former St. Louis Browns’ pitcher Sam Zoldak shutout his old mates Wednesday evening at Municipal Stadium by a score of 3-0 in front of 33,227 fans. The victory for Zoldak, and his new friends – the Cleveland Indians – extends their winning streak to a season-high seven games and moves them three games ahead of the rest of the American League. The shutout also extends the Indians’ team streak of scoreless innings to 30 frames, dating back to the seventh inning of the first game in Chicago on Sunday.
August 17, 1948
The last time Gene Bearden faced the St. Louis Browns the Indians issued a 26-3 beating. Today, the Browns were more than three times better, but Bearden’s effort improved, too.
The left-handed rookie knuckleballer went the distance in an 8-0 victory for the Cleveland Indians Tuesday night. It was Bearden and the Tribe’s sixth straight win, respectively. The favorite for Rookie of the Year helped the Indians get some space between themselves and their pennant contenders. Philadelphia was rained out in Boston and is now two games back, the Red Sox three games back and the New York Yankees five.
Offensively, the Indians banged out eleven hits and eight runs, with all the scoring in two innings against a fleet of St. Louis pitchers. For four innings, Browns’ starter Bill Kennedy was shutting out the Tribe, just like his counterpart Bearden. The two lefties battled one another in Indians spring training for a place on the Tribe roster.
August 12, 1948
It’s certainly not the homecoming that Sam Zoldak was hoping for, but it is the one that he is going to have to live with. The newest Tribe starter was pounded by his old teammates as the Indians dropped their second in a row to the St. Louis Browns 8-4.
Zoldak (6-8, 4.18) was acquired by the Indians in June in exchange for Bill Kennedy at the trade deadline. Kennedy was masterful on Wednesday as he pitched seven frames in the Browns 12-4 victory, while Zoldak did not make it out of the fourth inning on Thursday.
August 10, 1948
It’s a story Tribe fans have read too many times this season. Bob Feller started, got in a jam and gave up a critical home run, costing the team the game.
Some of the characters may have changed along the way, but the script still worked on Tuesday afternoon. Feller gave up a three-run home run to Detroit’s Pat Mullin in the fifth inning, breaking a tied game and giving the Tigers a lead they would never relinquish, winning the game 7-3.
Despite winning his last two decisions, Feller’s 13th loss tonight is the league lead.
August 6, 1948
The Cleveland Indians trailed early, but used a solid pitching performance from Bob Feller and home runs from Joe Gordon and Allie Clark to defeat the New York Yankees, 9-7 on Friday night in front of 71,268 fans.
The third crowd of over 70,000 spectators this week was just 1,166 short of the Cleveland record attendance for a night game that was set on Tuesday against Washington. Feller pitched seven and one-third innings for his first win of the season against New York. He had previously been battered for four losses, allowing 17 runs – all via home runs – in the four setbacks.
August 1, 1948
Zoldak (6-7, 3.81) was outstanding in game two of Sunday’s doubleheader, pitching arguably his best game as an Indian. Zoldak threw a complete game, one-run, seven-hitter to lead the Indians to a 6-1 victory over Boston. The win moves the Tribe percentage points ahead of the Red Sox and vaults the Indians into second place, one game behind front-running Philadelphia.