Today in Tribe History: July 15, 1989

1989 – Cleveland debuts young right-handed-hitting outfielder Joey Belle, who had the unenviable task of facing future Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan as the Indians hosted the Texas Rangers at Municipal Stadium.

Belle, better known by the name “Albert” later in his career, batted sixth in manager Doc Edwards lineup, following former Rangers first baseman Pete O’Brien at the plate, and started in right field. The 22-year-old former second round pick of the 1987 draft out of Louisiana State University skipped over the Triple-A level after hitting .282 with 20 homers and 20 doubles in 89 games at Double-A Canton-Akron in his first action at the level.

With the legendary flamethrower on the mound, Belle wasted no time getting that first Major League hit under his belt, as he singled on the third pitch of his at bat through the hole on the left side of the infield to push across O’Brien and give the Indians an early 2-0 lead.

Belle would go hitless in his remaining three at bats. Ryan lasted into the sixth but was charged with seven earned runs and took the loss as the Indians prevailed, 7-1. Greg Swindell went the distance for the Tribe, improving to 12-2 on the season behind his ten-strikeout, five-hit effort.

Cleveland remained eight games in back of Baltimore and in fifth place in the American League East with a record of 42-46.

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