It hosted the Indians, two NFL teams (the Rams and the Browns), innumerable college football games (including a bowl game, the Great Lakes Bowl) and concerts like the World Series of Rock and the initial Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame concert.
But on Oct. 10, 1948 – Cleveland Municipal Stadium pulled double duty.
That day, the Indians were hosting the Boston Braves in Game 5 of the World Series. A World Series attendance record was set, as 86,288 showed up for the last home game of the year for the Indians – and possibly the last game, with the Tribe holding a 3-1 series advantage.
Bob Feller was on the hill for the Indians against Warren Spahn of the Braves. Bob Elliott would open scoring for the Braves, tagging Feller for a three-run homer in the first, the first of two he would hit that day off Feller. Catcher Bill Salkeld also took Feller deep.
In the top of the seventh with the score tied at 5, Feller gave up a single to Earl Torgerson, scoring Tommy Holmes, and was pulled for relief pitcher Ed Klieman. It would be Feller’s second loss in the 1948 World Series – and his last appearance in the Fall Classic.
Klieman couldn’t stop the bleeding, so manager Lou Boudreau went to Russ Christopher and then Satchel Paige before getting out of the inning. Paige’s appearance was historic. He was the first black man to pitch in a World Series.
A 5-5 tie had turned into an 11-5 loss. The series would go back to Boston before Bob Lemon pitched the Indians to a win in Game 6, and a championship for the Tribe.
But Municipal Stadium wasn’t done for the day. That night, the Browns, in the All-American Football Conference, would play the Brooklyn Dodgers football team. The Browns were 6-0, the Dodgers 0-6, but they were tied at 17 going into the fourth quarter.
George Young recovered a fumble and ran it back for a score, and Marion Motley would score another touchdown to give the Browns a 30-17 win. The Browns would go on to an undefeated record, culminating in a 49-7 win over the Buffalo Bills for their third straight AAFC championship.