In a very Cleveland-centric Hall of Fame vote, three former members of the American League franchise are elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America as part of the second class elected.
In 116 years of shared history, there were bound to be a few common threads between the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox organizations. Those links extend far beyond a handful of players and coaches who make up each respective dugout this season while the two face off in the American League Division Series in their fifth playoff matchup all-time.
The most visible overlap between the two franchises may start from the managerial positions. Indians manager Terry Francona spent a portion of his playing career with the Indians before guiding the Red Sox to their first World Series title in 2004 to end an 86-year championship drought. Across the diamond, Red Sox manager John Farrell spent the majority of his playing days as a member of the Indians, including time as Francona’s teammate during the 1988 season.
Sunday marked the 125th anniversary of the first game at Cleveland’s League Park. Cy Young was the starting pitcher for the National League’s Cleveland Spiders against the Cincinnati Reds in front of a sellout crowd at the 9,000 seat wooden facility in the city’s Hough neighborhood.
As it was described in the following day’s edition of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland (spelling is correct):
“At eight minutes past 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon Denton Young, ex-rail splitter, put a double reef in his trousers, wet a brand new Spalding base ball with his fingers, smiled grimly and then propelled his arm through space, releasing the ball as he did it.
“It sailed gently toward a rubber plate firmly fastened in the ground some feet in front of him and passed directly over the center of that plate.
“Standing on one side of that piece of rubber was a young man dressed in a baggy blue flannel uniform with a great big bat in his hand. This man was “Biddy” McPhee. He made not a move when that ball passed over the plate and Umpire Phil Powers gently murmured “one strike”. The base ball season of 1891 was open in Cleveland and the heart of the lover of the game was glad.”