Today in Tribe History: September 9, 1938

Lou Boudreau cracks the Cleveland lineup for the first time as he replaces Ken Keltner at third base and walks once in two plate appearances in his Major League debut as the Indians fall to the Detroit Tigers, 11-5.

The Indians fell behind in the game right out of the gate as the Tigers used five straight singles to put three on Tribe starter Willis Hudlin, who was tagged for nine of the runs on the day on eleven hits over five innings. Jeff Heath gave the Indians a run in the bottom of the inning, singling home Roy Weatherly after his one-out double.

A pair of fourth inning errors helped the Tigers expand their lead to 5-1, but the Indians again responded with a run on an RBI-single from Frankie Pytlak. Each of the first five Tigers reached and scored in the sixth, as another error and a two-run home run from Hank Greenberg blew the game wide open.

In a 10-2 game, Boudreau took over for Keltner at third to begin the seventh. Batting second in the seventh, he walked in his first Major League plate appearance, but was stranded at first. The Tigers added a run in the top of the eighth and the Indians countered with three in the bottom of the frame, but they went down in order in the ninth as Boudreau grounded out to second and two pop ups in the infield ended it.

It would be the only game of action for Boudreau in his debut season. He will make it into 53 games the next season before becoming a staple of the Indians lineup for the next decade, both as the team’s starting shortstop and, later, as its skipper.

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