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.
October 9, 1948
When Larry Doby lifted the World Series’ first home run and starting pitcher Steve Gromek was carving up the Boston Braves lineup, Cleveland Mayor Thomas Burke said to Boston Mayor James Curley, “Your honor, I can just about taste those baked beans.”
This is according to The Plain Dealer, who reported a bet that had occurred between the mayors of the two cities. The mayor of Tribe-town would receive 100 pots of baked beans while the Beantown mayor would get a wooden Indian if their respective cities won the World Series.
Gromek and Doby put Burke one victory away from a truckload of beans when they defeated the Braves 2-1 in Game Four.
October 3, 1948
The pennant winning party scheduled for all weekend set over the horizon of Lake Erie without even a single champagne pop.
As the Detroit Tigers headed west with their season complete, the Cleveland Indians were set to travel east to Boston. However, after today’s 7-1 defeat at the hands of the Bengals, the Indians will not be headed Beantown to take on the Braves in the World Series. Instead, Cleveland will battle the Boston Red Sox for a 23rd time this season in a one-game playoff Monday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.
It is the first time in the American League’s 48-year history that two teams tied after 154 games. It’s only the second time in baseball history.
“The loss didn’t get (us) down,” Indians manager Lou Boudreau said after the game. “The boys just feel they’re going to Boston a day early.”
September 19, 1948
Cleveland, we have a pennant race.
Just five days ago the Cleveland Indians trailed the Boston Red Sox by four games and were mired in third place. But riding a five-game winning streak, the Indians took a pair of games this afternoon from the Philadelphia Athletics and cut their deficit in the American League standings to just a half game.
The Tribe won the second game this afternoon, just 2-0, on the aid of two Lou Boudreau home runs and a shutout performance by Steve Gromek. Boudreau’s 15th and 16th homers were the first time in eight years the Indians’ player-manager has hit two bombs in a game. His two homers were the first in a game since he did the feat in Detroit in 1940 and were his 100th and 101st runs batted in this season.
September 13, 1948
The Indians blew a 2-0 lead, allowing two runs in the eighth inning to tie the game and another in the ninth to lose a heart-breaking game, 3-2, to the St. Louis Browns in a pennant race where every game matters.
Yet, it all seemed secondary or trivial after the bottom of the second inning.
Indians starting pitcher Don Black collapsed during his first at bat and was helped from the field by his teammates after suffering an apparent brain hemorrhage. Black was Cleveland’s spot starter in the replay of Sunday afternoon’s 3-3 tie that was called due to darkness. During his at bat Black fouled a ball off from Browns’ starting pitcher Bill Kennedy, then staggered back a step or two before collapsing.
September 11, 1948
In a weekend sure to fill even the biggest fans with their share of baseball, Steve Gromek started a busy weekend the right way with a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Browns on Saturday afternoon.
The Indians used two runs in the first inning and two more in the third to take control of the game while Gromek did not allow a hit to the Brownies until the fifth inning in front of 32,248 fans. Only 19,210 spectators were paid admissions for today’s Ladies Day crowd. Cleveland’s win is the first in a weekend that features a doubleheader today and tomorrow, a product of previous rainouts between St. Louis and the Tribe.
September 6, 1948
When the Cleveland Indians list the reasons they fell short of the 1948 pennant, somewhere on that list Dave Philley’s name will be found.
Philley, who beat the Indians on a ninth inning home run off Bob Lemon two weeks ago in Cleveland, drove in two runs and scored the third run himself while playing spectacular defense. In addition to his offense, Philley threw out one would-be scoring Tribesman and prevented several more with a fine running catch. Philley and his last place White Sox mates used his fine play to beat the Indians 3-1 in a closely contested game.
September 3, 1948
With an opportunity to make up a half game on the Boston Red Sox in the standings and at least hold pat with the New York Yankees with a win, the Tribe instead fell behind early and couldn’t catch up in time, losing the second half of the twi-night doubleheader to the St. Louis Browns 4-3 in front of 9,473 fans at Sportsman’s Park.
Sam Zoldak was roughed up early by his former teammates and could not survive the third inning as the Browns scored four times in the first four innings. Cleveland rallied back against St. Louis starter Joe Ostrowski, but several sharply hit balls right at fielders resulted in double plays and rally killers. The loss instead drops the Indians to two full games behind the Red Sox. New York is now just a half game behind Boston for the top spot.