Bragan came to Cleveland after two years at the helm of the Pittsburgh Pirates and was in his first season as skipper of the club when let go. The Indians were in sixth place in the American League and 12 games out of first place at the time of his dismissal. Hank Greenberg, who had hired Bragan while general manager of the club, was fired two weeks after his addition and was replaced by Frank Lane. He would break the news of Bragan’s firing three months later by stating to him, “I don’t know how we’ll get along without you, Bobby, but starting tomorrow we’re going to try”.
The team would play better under Gordon, who guided the team to a 46-40 record in his 86 games in the dugout, but the team still finished the year in fourth place, 14.5 games in back of the New York Yankees.
Gordon remained on with the club through the 1959 season, when he took the Indians to an 89-65 record and a second place finish in the AL, five games behind the Chicago White Sox. He began the 1960 season as the Indians manager, but was famously traded by Lane after a 49-46 start to the Detroit Tigers for their manager, Jimmy Dykes.