Posts By Vince Guerrieri
This story was originally published on December 26, 2014, as part of a series of stories by Did The Tribe Win Last Night’s Vince Guerrieri on the Indians’ 1920 season. You can find this original story and more categorized on the site under 1920: Tragedy and Triumph. – BT
Tris Speaker didn’t sleep a wink the night Ray Chapman died. He stayed up in his room, along with Jack Graney and Steve O’Neill, hoping for the best but fearing the worst. Their worst fears were confirmed when Raymond Johnson Chapman died at 4:40 a.m., August 17, 1920.
The team visited the mortuary that day for a viewing. Graney and O’Neill passed out. Chapman’s teammates wept as they recollected his playing skill and his sunny disposition.
“It is not the baseball player I mourn,” Speaker said. “It is the pal, the truest pal man ever had.”
This weekend marked the anniversary of a tragic event thankfully never replicated on a Major League field. This story of the death of Ray Chapman was originally published on December 23, 2014, as part of a series of stories by Did The Tribe Win Last Night’s Vince Guerrieri about the Indians’ 1920 season. You can find this original story and more categorized on the site under 1920: Tragedy and Triumph. – BT
After a four-game sweep by the Yankees at League Park, the Indians had watched their lead in the American League dwindle from four and a half games down to just half a game. A loss to the St. Louis Browns put the Indians half a game back of the Yankees, who were demonstrating that they didn’t need speed when they had power. The Indians were able to put an end to the five-game skid with a shutout by Bob Clark, the pitcher from Newport, Pennsylvania*, who had thrown batting practice and came on in relief in the exhibition in July against the Reds. It was Clark’s first – and only – major league win.
Today’s trip down memory lane takes us back to a story published on August 5, 2011, in the infancy stages of the Did The Tribe Win Last Night website by writer Vince Guerrieri on the ten-year anniversary of ‘The Comeback’. – BT
On August 5, 2001, the Indians were playing a nationally-televised Sunday night game on ESPN. They had their work cut out for them, playing a Seattle Mariners team that would go on to win 116 games in the regular season, tying a major league record.
And of course, the Indians laid an egg. Tribe starter Dave Burba gave up seven runs in two innings and change, and was replaced by reliever Mike Bacsik, who gave up five more runs in an eight-run third inning. After three, the Mariners were leading by two touchdowns, 12-0. Jim Thome hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning to make it 12-2, but the Mariners added two more in the fifth to go up 14-2.
Former Indians manager John McNamara died Tuesday at the age of 88.
McNamara, a Sacramento native, is probably best known as the manager of the 1986 Red Sox, who lost the World Series in heartbreaking fashion to the Mets in seven games. In Game 6 of that World Series, McNamara first removed starter Roger Clemens in the eighth inning (he said at the pitcher’s request; Clemens denies it even today) and fatefully left Bill Buckner in at first base instead of putting in a defensive replacement. Mookie Wilson’s dribbler went through Buckner’s legs, setting the Mets on the path to victory. They won the next game as well for their last World Series title to date.
This week, Did The Tribe Win Last Night looks back to Dick Bosman’s bid for perfection in his no-hitter thrown 46 years ago this week. This story was originally published by Vince Guerrieri on July 15, 2014. – BT
When Dick Bosman took the hill for a start on a warm Friday night in 1974 at Cleveland Stadium, he treated it no differently than any other game – even though it was against the two-time defending champion Oakland Athletics.
Bosman, in his second year with the Indians, had watched Gaylord Perry lose 2-1 the night before, and knew what he had to do.
The President weighed in on Monday, calling out and chastising the Cleveland Indians and Washington Redskins organizations on Twitter for “changing their names in order to be politically correct”. It continued a long and curious relationship between Trump and the Tribe, dating back nearly three decades. This story was published originally on March 9, 2016, by Vince Guerrieri. – BT
Donald Trump and New York City go hand in hand.
From his roots in Queens to his real estate deals in Manhattan to his pronounced accent (“yuge!”), Trump is inextricably linked to the Big Apple.
But in 1983, before his bid for president, before his television show, before his marriages and divorces had become tabloid fodder, even before “The Art of the Deal,” his bestseller that made him nationally famous, Trump looked to Cleveland to expand into professional sports — like George Steinbrenner in reverse.
In what might be the funniest thing Tony Grossi’s ever written, he said, “Trump’s sudden and inexplicable interest in purchasing the Cleveland Indians evokes the image of a man who awakes in a cold sweat with the frightening realization that a billion Chinese never heard of him.”
Let’s talk about statues in Little Italy.
No, not that one.
There’s a movement afoot to replace the statue of Christopher Columbus at Tony Brush Park with Hector Boiardi, the famed chef who went on to create a line of canned Italian foods. It’s part of a larger grappling with Columbus’ legacy as a genocidal imperialist.
Coronavirus may have robbed us of the final season of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.
On Tuesday, Major League Baseball announced its decision not to provide Minor League Baseball teams with players this summer as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. (Major League Baseball is still planning to play an abbreviated season this summer, but I remain less than certain that will come to pass too.)
“These are unprecedented times for our country and our organization as this is the first time in our history that we’ve had a summer without Minor League Baseball played,” said Minor League Baseball President & CEO Pat O’Conner. “While this is a sad day for many, this announcement removes the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season and allows our teams to begin planning for an exciting 2021 season of affordable family entertainment.”
In a busy week in Indians history that included a significant trade, a cycle, a no-hitter, a brawl, and plenty of game action (unlike this year…), we at Did The Tribe Win Last Night take another trip down memory lane as we revisit a story published on June 8, 2016, by Vince Guerrieri. – BT
On June 10, 1959, Rocky Colavito was in the middle of a slump, having gotten three hits in his previous 28 at-bats.
It was a long fall from the previous season, when the young slugger with the matinee-idol good looks had clubbed 41 home runs, good for second in the American League. And the Indians, who were fading from contention, were playing the Orioles at Memorial Stadium – not known for its hitter-friendly dimensions. And to top it off, a throwing error the night before by Colavito sparked a rally for the Orioles to win.
But the next day, Colavito had a game for the ages – one which remains his proudest moment as a major leaguer.
Take me out to the … brawl game? Today’s dig through the Did The Tribe Win Last Night archives takes us back to 1974, when the Cleveland Indians organization put on the wrong kind of show for baseball fans. Relive some of the highlights and lowlights in this June 4, 2012, excerpt from the book “Ohio Sports Trivia” by J. Alexander Poulton and DTTWLN’s Vince Guerrieri. – BT
Under the ownership of Bill Veeck in the 1940s, the Indians were known for some excellent promotions.
Veeck largely invented the concept of people coming out to the ballpark for events other than baseball, be they a mock funeral for the pennant, like he did in Cleveland in 1949, sending a midget up to bat, like he did when he owned the St. Louis Browns (and he feared this event would be on his tombstone) or a scoreboard that shot off fireworks, like he had at Comiskey Park when he owned the White Sox.
With baseball rumored to be inching closer and closer to a proposed return, we at Did The Tribe Win Last Night continue to wait out the grueling absence of sports across the country by looking back at the past. Today’s trip down memory lane, published by Vince Guerrieri on November 18, 2015, looks back at what could have been for Indians hurler Herb Score. – BT
A policeman in Lake Worth, Florida, alerted Slapnicka – the man who discovered Bob Feller – about the fireballing southpaw. He was signed to a contract at the age of 19 – with a $60,000 bonus. While the Indians won 111 games and the American League pennant in 1954, Score was mowing down batters at Triple-A Indianapolis on the way to being named the minor league player of the year, with a record of 22-5 and 350 strikeouts.
And big things were expected of him even when he went to his first Indians spring training in 1955. He was tabbed by the Sporting News – the “Bible of Baseball” – as a Rookie of the Year candidate. And he delivered on that prediction, going 16-10 and leading the league with 245 strikeouts – the most by a rookie in 44 years, and a rookie record that stood until Dwight Gooden shattered it in 1984. Indians manager Al Lopez named Score to that year’s American League All-Star team.
One of the forgotten gems in Indians’ history was thrown 81 years ago this week as Wes Ferrell blanked the St. Louis Browns and his brother, 9-0. Did The Tribe Win Last Night shares its account of that game through the eyes of Vince Guerrieri in a story originally published on April 27, 2016. – BT
When a crowd of around 4,000 settled into their seats at League Park on April 29, 1931, they couldn’t have expected to see a little bit of history in that day’s game between the Indians and the St. Louis Browns. But they did see it – and not without controversy either.
Cleveland News sportswriter Ed Bang knew history was at hand. Syndicated sportswriter William Braucher told a tale from the press box that Bang – also the official scorer for the Indians – told a St. Louis sportswriter that he was going to see a no-hitter that day.