Bob Kennedy, a member of the Cleveland Indians’ 1948 World Series winning club, passes away in Mesa, Arizona. He was 84.
Kennedy was born in 1920 in Chicago, Illinois, and reached the Majors with the White Sox in 1939 at the age of 19. He missed 1943 to 1945 after entering Naval Aviation and later the Marines during World War II. He was traded by the Sox to the Indians on June 2, 1948, for pitcher Al Gettel and outfielder/first baseman Pat Seerey.
Kennedy played with the Indians into the 1954 season, when he was traded after two games to the Baltimore Orioles for outfielder/third baseman Jim Dyck. He later spent time with the Detroit Tigers and the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, with several return trips to the Windy City.
Following his career, he worked as an assistant farm director for the Indians in 1960 and 1961 and later worked as a manager, Director of Player Development, and assistant general manager around the league. His coaching and managerial opportunities again returned him to Chicago, where he was part of the College of Coaches experiment by the Cubs before managing the club for three years. Two of his sons, All-Star catcher Terry Kennedy and minor leaguer and scout Bob Kennedy Jr., also were involved in Major League Baseball.
Also on this date in Tribe history:
1907 – Oral Hildebrand, one of the three Indians named to the first American League All-Star team in 1933, is born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He spent six of his ten big league seasons in Cleveland.
1973 – The Indians defeat the Tigers, 2-1, in front of an Opening Day and weekday home record crowd of 74,420.
1975 – Ronnie Belliard is born in New York. He spent his best Major League seasons in an Indians uniform from 2004 to 2006. He was an All-Star for the lone time in his 13-year career in 2004 and, the next season, established several new personal offensive bests.
1980 – Vinny Rottino is born in Racine, Wisconsin. He appeared in 18 games for the Tribe in 2012, hitting .107 with a homer and two RBI.
1987 – The infamous Sports Illustrated cover predicting an “Indian Uprising” hits the newsstands, naming the Indians as the best team in the American League. Instead, the team will finish the year an abysmal 61-101, the worst in Major League Baseball.