1948: When Boudreau Led the Boys
Can one no-hitter be better than another? In the eyes of Indians legend Bob Feller, he believes so.
Feller threw his second of three no-hitters on April 30, 1946—exactly 67 years ago today.
His first of the three came on Opening Day 1940 against the Chicago White Sox, a game that Feller is quick to dismiss. His second, he says, is the one that deserves the attention.
The modern era would be far more cruel to a player like Jim Hegan.
The Tribe catcher for 14 seasons—11 of which were as the Tribe’s starter—may never have been more than a back up player or someone with a limited ceiling in today’s game because he lacked the offense to produce. Hegan’s intangibles proved more valuable than his bat, however.
He was the original Hammerin’ Hank. In the less enlightened time when he played, he was also known as the Hebrew Hammer.
But after a lengthy and successful career – almost exclusively with the Detroit Tigers – Hank Greenberg came to Cleveland and left his mark on the Indians.
After the 1947 season – the only one he played with the Pittsburgh Pirates – Greenberg’s playing career ended. He retired with a career .313 batting average and 331 home runs – a number which could have vastly increased had Greenberg not lost the bulk of four seasons to service in the Army Air Forces in World War II.
He started out as a third baseman for the Indians, getting a cup of coffee in the majors before serving in the Navy in World War II. But Bob Lemon became a pitcher after the war – and one of the best of his era.
In 1946, he was the Tribe’s opening day center fielder, but he went 4-5 as a pitcher, the only losing season he’d have on the mound until 1957. Lemon won 20 games in a season seven times, including 1948, when the Indians won the World Series, and 1954, when they won the pennant. In his career, Lemon led the American League in complete games five times, innings pitched four times, wins three times and shutouts and strikeouts once each.