Today in Tribe History: March 12, 2002

Longtime Cleveland Indians pitcher Steve Gromek passes away. He was 82.

Gromek was signed and developed by the Indians. After joining the club in 1939, he cracked the Majors in August of 1941. He played sparingly at the big league level over the next three seasons, but by 1944 he became a regular in the rotation. He tossed 251 innings in 1945 in a career-best season that saw him post a 19-9 record with a 2.55 ERA. He was also part of the pitching staff that led the Tribe to the 1948 World Series championship, making nine starts and another 29 appearances in relief over the course of the season. He stepped up big in the lone playoff appearance of his career, tossing a complete game seven-hitter over the Boston Braves to win Game 4 in front of nearly 82,000 people at Cleveland Stadium.

The Indians traded Gromek in June of 1953 to the Detroit Tigers as part of an eight-player deal. The Tigers used him almost exclusively as a starter in his first two-plus seasons with the club. He went 18-16 with a 2.74 ERA in 252 2/3 innings in his first full season with the club and won 13 more games the following season, but he was transitioned into more of a relief role for the final two seasons of his 17-year MLB career.

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