Five years ago this week, a struggling Corey Kluber took the mound still in search of his first win after winning the American League’s Cy Young Award for his outstanding efforts the previous season. He got that monkey off of his back in historic fashion in a game for the ages. We at Did The Tribe Win Last Night look back on his historic accomplishment in this week’s archives dive, going back to this story originally published November 24, 2015, by Bob Toth. – BT
In the defense of his first American League Cy Young Award, Corey Kluber looked a shell of his former self to begin the 2015 season.
It certainly was not entirely his fault. Through his first seven games, the Indians had been held winless in each outing and he took the loss in five of those games. While his 5.04 ERA in that stretch gave him a deserving chunk of the blame, the 18 runs of offense provided by his Cleveland teammates were enough to say that the losing skid was a united team effort.
Kluber took the mound on May 13th with a little something to prove to himself, to his teammates and fans, and to the rest of game of baseball. And prove it did he ever with a Herculean effort.
When thinking of incredible, insurmountable comebacks in the history of Major League Baseball, many fans (and especially Tribe fans) will look to August 5 of 2001, when the 61-48 Indians rallied back from two separate twelve-run deficits to shock the 80-30 Seattle Mariners with a stunning 15-14 extra inning walk-off win at Jacobs Field.
The unbelievable end results were heightened by the fact that both teams were very much in the playoff race and were destined to meet again in October, when the Mariners knocked off the Indians in five games in the American League Division Series after winning a Major League record 116 games (a record which still stands today).
Prior to that Herculean effort against the Mariners, the Indians’ largest home comeback at their gem at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario came on May 7, 1999, when the team used an 18-run barrage over its final three innings at the plate to stun the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 20-11. They accomplished it without Hall of Famer Jim Thome in the lineup, nor Hall worthy (in some eyes) Omar Vizquel, who was out of the lineup nursing a sore quad that had pestered him since mid-April.
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.
The end of April has been a notably busy time for no-hitters in Cleveland Indians history. Did The Tribe Win Last Night looks back at the second time Bob Feller achieved this milestone of pitching history in 1946 in a story originally published by Bob Toth on April 30, 2016. – BT
Indians Hall of Fame hurler Bob Feller stunned the New York Yankees at home by throwing his second of three career no-hitters on April 30, 1946.
It was a remarkable feat for Feller, who added his name alongside Addie Joss as the only members of the Cleveland franchise to ever throw two hitless outings in their careers. He would later take that crown all for his own when he threw his third and final no-hitter on July 1, 1951, against the Detroit Tigers, adding it to the first he threw in his career with his memorable Opening Day no-hitter on April 16, 1940 (still the only such game thrown in MLB history).
Most pitchers aren’t even lucky enough to claim one no-hitter, so the notion that Feller had multiple to compare just lays credence to his abilities as a pitcher and his well-deserved spot among the baseball immortals in Cooperstown, New York.
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.
With no baseball on the field across the country, our options are limited for sports content in our lives. With that in mind, here is another story unearthed in the Did The Tribe Win Last Night archives to help pass the pandemic times. – BT
This story was first published on April 23, 2016, by Bob Toth.
The Indians had dropped their sixth game in nine efforts and the first of a four-game series in Boston against the Red Sox, just over two-thirds of the way through the opening month of the season. Cleveland first baseman Andre Thornton was in his second season with the club after bouncing around four different National League organizations over the previous ten-plus years in professional baseball.
Our Did The Tribe Win Last Night pandemic history lessons continue this week as we look back at the second career no-hitter hurled by Addie Joss during the 1910 season. This story was originally published by Vince Guerrieri on April 18, 2019. – BT
It’s one of the great trivia questions in baseball history: What’s the only game where a team had the same batting average before the game as after it?
The answer, of course, is Bob Feller’s Opening Day no-hitter against the White Sox at Comiskey Park in 1940. But 30 years prior to that – this week in 1910 – Addie Joss also threw a no-hitter against the Pale Hose at Comiskey. It wasn’t an Opening Day no-hitter, but at the time, it was the earliest no-no in a season – and the first ever in the month of April.
The number 42 should have come out of retirement on April 15 as part of Major League Baseball’s annual recognition of the accomplishments of Jackie Robinson. With baseball instead an afterthought in the new era of social distancing, we at Did The Tribe Win Last Night continue to dig through the archives weekly to provide some distraction amidst the chaos.
Today’s post comes courtesy of Vince Guerrieri in a story originally published on July 29, 2015.
Major League Baseball has anointed April 15 as Jackie Robinson Day as teams around the league dust off the retired number 42 for a day spent in honor of the accomplished Hall of Famer. This year, however, baseball and the Robinson Day tributes are a mere afterthought in times decimated by global pandemic. We at Did The Tribe Win Last Night will do our part Tuesday and Friday to remember Robinson’s efforts as we continue to comb through the archives for entertaining distraction from life’s stress.
Today’s post comes courtesy of Bob Toth in a story originally published on April 15, 2016.
On April 15th of every year, Major League Baseball takes pause to recognize the contributions of Jackie Robinson to the advancement of African-Americans (and minorities as a whole) in professional sports and, in a much larger construct, society.
The first full week of April is normally a time of rejoicing in Cleveland as the city welcomes home the Indians for the first homestand of the campaign. This season appears to be a season like none other, unfortunately, so we are left to resort to archived memories to pass the time. Today, we reflect on Opening Day 2007, when the Indians were snowed out mere pitches away from completing an official Major League game, by definition, thanks to the handiwork of an old friend of the feather. – BT
The 2007 home opener scheduled in Cleveland kicked off in most unusual of fashion.
The date was Friday, April 6, 2007, and the Indians were set to open Jacobs Field for play for the first time that season with a 4:05 PM start against the Seattle Mariners. Hopes were high in Cleveland that the Tribe would rebound from a disappointing 78-84 record in 2006, just one season after going 93-69 and falling games short of the playoffs courtesy of a late September collapse in 2005.
On April 8, 1975, Cleveland’s Frank Robinson made history, becoming the first African-American manager in Major League Baseball history. On top of that, he capped off his momentous day by homering in his first at bat of the season, doing so on Opening Day in front of 56,715 fans at Municipal Stadium. We look back this time not at the home run of said day, but the circumstances leading up to Robinson’s arrival on Ohio’s north coast. – BT
In 1947, the Cleveland Indians broke the established rule of the time, signing Larry Doby and making him the first African-American ball player in the American League when he stepped on the field on July 5.
In 1974, the Cleveland Indians once again broke free from the established norms in the game of baseball, helping to further integrate professional sports by hiring Frank Robinson as the first African-American manager in Major League Baseball history.
Global pandemic busted brackets this year as the entire NCAA college basketball tournament was cancelled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus across the globe. The annual “March Madness” tourney was originally scheduled to conclude this weekend in the “Final Four” matchups on Friday, April 4, ahead of the National Championship game Sunday night, April 6.
This year, we at Did The Tribe Win Last Night keep the festivities alive as we recall some former Tribesmen to partake in NCAA postseason play. Today’s slightly edited post (due to specific outdated time references in the original) first published on March 17, 2018, by Bob Toth.
It would seem unlikely that participants in the NCAA Tournament, better known as “March Madness”, would find their way to a Major League Baseball diamond, but lo and behold, it has happened on more than one occasion before. The chances may be mighty slim, but a dozen former college basketball players who have played in the yearly March playoff have found later employment following their hoops careers on a big league diamond.