Len Barker, getting the sign from Ron Hassey. Ernie Whitt stands in. Wind up, here it comes. Fly ball, center field. Manning coming on, he’s there…he catches it! Len Barker has pitched a no-hitter! A perfect game for Len Barker! The stands erupt, the players go out, Len Barker being surrounded on the field. He has made baseball history here tonight. Len Barker has pitched a perfect ball game. Faces 27 men, retires them all, eleven strikeouts. Len Barker being mobbed on the field, the Cleveland Indians win it, 3-0. – Herb Score’s call of Barker’s perfect game
It has now been 37 years since Len Barker lifted his leg high and tight on a 1-2 pitch to Toronto Blue Jays catcher Ernie Whitt, inducing a fly ball to center field. Rick Manning raced in, arms extended straight out as though he were flying. He raised both arms above his head and he secured the catch before beginning his ascent to the mound with several high hops in celebration of the 27th and final out of Barker’s perfect game.
Fresh off of his first career All-Star season and a no-hitter on May 30, 1977 (the 200th in MLB history), the Cleveland Indians trade pitcher Dennis Eckersley and catcher Fred Kendall to the Boston Red Sox for pitchers Rick Wise and Mike Paxton, catcher Bo Diaz, and utility player Ted Cox.
While the offseason has been historically slow and the winter has crawled along at an even slower pace, we at Did The Tribe Win Last Night look ahead to the warmer days of the 2018 season by remembering Tribe players past and present.
Countdown to Opening Day – 37 days
Another day is marked off of the calendar as we inch closer and closer to the start of the Cactus and Grapefruit League schedules. Today, we look at the number 37 and its role in Cleveland – most notably on the backs (and sometimes fronts) of Indians players throughout the club’s storied history. The number has been in heavy rotation for the last three and a half decades, appearing in every year since the Indians moved into their beautiful new home in the Gateway District and for nearly a decade before that. Just one time – during the final season that Cleveland Municipal Stadium served as the home of the Tribe – did the number fail to appear.
For the last six years, Cody Allen has championed the number. That will be no different this season, as the now veteran right-hander will once again serve as the closer in manager Terry Francona’s bullpen. But it could be the last season that Allen wears the number, at least for Cleveland – he is set to hit free agency at the end of the year.
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.
41 years ago today, a 20-year-old rookie made his debut as a starting pitcher for the Indians.
He would go on to a Hall of Fame career, but not as a starter – and not with the Indians.
Throughout the 2015 season, Did the Tribe Win Last Night will take a look back at the 1995 Cleveland Indians for the 20th anniversary of their fourth pennant winning season. Included will be historic game recaps, headlining stories and a ranking of the team’s most influential players that truly made 1995 The Greatest Summer Ever. Today looks back July 16, 1995.
That was the single word that Athletics closer Dennis Eckersley could mutter as he walked off the field after the juggernaut Indians wrecked another opponent’s day. Sunday’s heroics came curtesy of Manny Ramirez, who planted a hanging Eckersley cut fastball deep into the Jacobs Field bleachers to steal a 5-4 victory in the 12th and sweep the Athletics out of town. It was the first time in franchise history that the Indians have swept a four game series against Oakland in Cleveland.
1977 – Dennis Eckersley throws the 13th no-hitter in Indians history as he shuts down the California Angels, 1-0, at Cleveland Stadium.
Eckersley is the first Indians hurler to lob a no-no since Dick Bosman narrowly missed a perfect game …