Without a doubt, Ty Cobb is the greatest player to ever don a Tigers’ uniform.
The Georgia Peach, nearly 90 years after his retirement, still holds the record for highest career batting average with .366. At one point, he also held the career record for stolen bases (862) and hits (4,191).
And he could have done it in an Indians uniform.
Ahhh, Mother’s Day. What better way to show your love to Mom than treating her to a baseball game?
Well, my mother would appreciate the thought, but not necessarily the game. In fact, she was the first to admit it, which is why I can count on one hand the number of baseball games to which she accompanied us.
They called Herb Score the “Howitzer.” The lefty mowed down hitters while pitching in the minor leagues in Indianapolis in 1954, leading people to consider him the heir to Bob Feller, who was then closing in on retirement. In Indianapolis, Score went 22–5 and struck out 330 batters.
Score’s rookie year of 1955 was one for the books. He won 16 games and struck out 245 batters, a rookie record that stood until Dwight Gooden broke it in 1984. Score was the first rookie to whiff 200 batters since Hall of Famer Grover Cleveland Alexander had done it 44 years earlier. The next year, at 23, Score won 20 games.
Can one no-hitter be better than another? In the eyes of Indians legend Bob Feller, he believes so.
Feller threw his second of three no-hitters on April 30, 1946—exactly 67 years ago today.
His first of the three came on Opening Day 1940 against the Chicago White Sox, a game that Feller is quick to dismiss. His second, he says, is the one that deserves the attention.
“The no-hitter on opening day in Chicago is the one that gets all the attention,” Feller said in a 2010 USA Today article. “But my no-hitter at Yankee Stadium was against a much better team than the White Sox.”
This story originally ran on July 14, 2012, but in honor of Omar Vizquel’s birthday today, we re-posted it from our vault.
Each week through the 26 weeks of the 2012 regular season, DTTWLN will profile and break down the roster of arguably the most exciting sports team that Cleveland has ever seen; the 1995 Cleveland Indians. The ’95 Tribe won 100 games in a strike-shortened 144 game schedule, won their first Central Division title and made the playoffs and World Series for the first time since 1954. Six players made the American League All-Star team, eight players batted .300 or better, and the pitching staff had the lowest ERA in the American League. The players have been ranked from the most important to the Tribe’s success to the 26th. This week breaks down #12 Omar Vizquel.
The trade history between the Seattle Mariners and the Cleveland Indians has been a bit one sided in recent years. On June 30, 2006, the Indians sent old man first baseman Eduardo Perez to Seattle in exchange for shortstop and future All-Star Asdrubal Cabrera. A month later, the Tribe shipped Ben Broussard to the Mariners in exchange for Shin-Soo Choo and a player to be named later. Choo emerged as the Indians best position player for the next few years and Broussard…well…Broussard plays a mean acoustic guitar. In a “not quite as big of a steal” trade in June 2010, the Tribe sent another old man, Russell Branyan, to Seattle for Ezequiel Carrera and Juan Diaz. Carrera and Diaz may or may not be solid contributors to the Indians one day, but at the time of the trade, everyone in Cleveland was pretty stoked that the Tribe got anything for Russell Branyan.
Those trades were all great and they all helped the Indians incredibly, but they were nothing compared to heist that GM John Hart pulled off prior to the 1994 season.
When the Indians finalized the trade for shortstop Omar Vizquel on December 20, 1993, they pulled off one of the biggest lopsided trades in franchise history. The Mariners had a young shortstop with power named Alex Rodriguez on the way, so it seemed okay for the M’s to trade the all-glove/no-bat Vizquel for peanuts.
Chris Perez made headlines a few times last year, sometimes for his play, but also, more than once, for his mouth.
After racking up a career-high 39 saves in 43 save opportunities in 2012, though, Perez ranked among the best …
With his hand clutched around the ball stuffed inside his mitt, Luis Tiant hoisted his arms above his head. He planted his right foot into the mound and pivoted on it so the batter could see the number “23” on his back. Then he flicked his left leg back around and delivered at fastball toward home.
“But Tiant, whom fans in Cleveland lovingly called ‘El Tiante,’ was more than a pitcher,” Justice B. Hill wrote in an article placing Tiant among the 100 Greatest Indians. “He was a performer. He dazzled fans and baffled hitters with a pitching motion as deceptive as any in the history of the game.”
Tiant wasn’t known solely for his delivery, though. He also holds the Tribe’s scoreless inning record—he tossed 41.0 consecutive scoreless innings in 1968.
With the release of 42 this weekend in movie theaters across America, we should all be reminded of Cleveland’s own barrier breaker. He’s the one who took the second step; the one who baseball history often seems to forget. He’s the man who doesn’t get the credit that he deserves and is one of America’s true heroes. He is Larry Doby.
Doby is baseball’s version of Buzz Aldrin—the man who climbed down the ladder right after Neil Armstrong’s historic first walk on the moon. Doby climbed down baseball’s color barrier ladder a mere six weeks after Jackie Robinson did, as he became the second black player in baseball history. Outside of Cleveland, however, Doby is mostly a forgotten man.
Besides having movies made about him, Robinson was a first ballot Hall of Famer in 1962 and his number was retired throughout the Major Leagues in 1997; the only ballplayer to ever receive this honor. Since 2004, April 15 will forever be known as Jackie Robinson Day. It is a day when baseball players across the league don #42 on their backs, in respect to baseball’s ultimate pioneer. Robinson absolutely deserves all of the recognition and celebrations that he receives…but it’s a shame that Doby got nothing for almost 50 years.
The ovation Travis Hafner received when he was introduced as a Yankee before Monday’s home opener was as well-deserved as any.
For 10 seasons, Hafner was a fixture in the Indians lineup as the power-hitting designated hitter. Unfortunately, as was the case for many Indians after 2007, injuries plagued “Pronk” and reduced his effectiveness.
Hafner, 35, was drafted by the Texas Rangers in 1996, but didn’t make his Major League Baseball debut until 2002. The Indians decided to trade for him after the season, acquiring him for Einar Diaz and Ryan Drese.
It was one of the most lopsided trades of the last 15 years.
Although this is Terry Francona’s first year as the Cleveland Indians’ manager, he is far from a stranger to the city or the Tribe.
Mounted on a tricycle outside of the old Commodore Hotel on Euclid Ave., Terry rode back and forth with his mom while his dad, Tito Francona, suited up in Cleveland Stadium.
“I remember I learned to ride a tricycle in Cleveland,” Terry said in an interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “We lived in the Commodore Hotel. I had a big red tricycle. I’d get in the elevator with my mom, she’d take me down and I’d ride my trike around Case Western. That’s my first memory of Cleveland,”
Despite the long histories of the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees organizations, the two teams have not opened many seasons against one another on the shores of Lake Erie.
In fact, with 112 home openers under its belt, the city of Cleveland has seen the Yankees occupy the opposing dugout just five total times to open their park. It was not until the Indians’ 75th anniversary season that New York came to town to open the home of the Tribe for the first time.
Seventeen years have passed since their last such visit. This year will end the drought as Ubaldo Jimenez and Hiroki Kuroda are scheduled to face off on Monday afternoon as the revamped Indians lineup looks to capitalize on a Yankees roster depleted of many of its most productive and veteran ball players.
The last time the Yankees opened the Indians home schedule, Derek Jeter was a rookie.
As Opening Day in Cleveland arrives this Monday, memories of openers-past flood back in to the minds of Cleveland fans—just as they do every year.
Just a year ago, the Tribe faced the Blue Jays in a grueling 16 inning home opener, as Chris Perez blew a save in the ninth to spoil Justin Masterson’s masterpiece and gave the fans hours of free baseball. That game became the longest Opening Day in baseball history, breaking the record previously held by the 15 inning affair between the Tigers and Indians in 1960. The Tribe came up short in both marathons.
The Indians opened the 2007 home season in the snow, then again at Milwaukee’s Miller Park when Seattle Manager Mike Hargrove spoiled a 4-0 Indians lead and a possible no-hitter by starter Paul Byrd by complaining about the weather. The Tribe was sent to Milwaukee for the next series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as Old Man Winter continued to cover Progressive Field.