Today in Tribe History: January 31, 1977

A pair of former Indians gain entrance to the Baseball Hall of Fame as the Special Veterans Committee selects Joe Sewell and Al Lopez to join Amos Rusie as part of the Class of ’77.

Sewell spent his first eleven Major League seasons in an Indians uniform, starting as a late season callup with Cleveland in 1920 to replace the deceased Ray Chapman at shortstop. He was a model of consistency with the club, playing in 152 games or more in each of the next nine seasons before playing in 109 in his final season in Cleveland in 1930. He was released by the team in 1931 and signed on with the New York Yankees for three more seasons.

Lopez spent 19 years in the Majors as a catcher, including his final 61 games in 1947 with the Indians. His bigger claim to fame was his success in the dugout, where he won a pair of American League pennants and finished with a .584 career winning percentage as manager. He led the Indians for six seasons from 1951 to 1956 and never won fewer than 88 games. The Indians in his time finished first in 1954 and in second in the other five years of his leadership. He joined the Chicago White Sox in 1957 and spent nine years at the helm there, winning one pennant, finishing in second five other times, and never having a losing season. He later rejoined the dugout with the Sox for parts of the 1968 and 1969 seasons on a limited basis.

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