Baseball is a game of unexpected results and outcomes, and Sunday afternoon was full of unexpected moments.
After losing the first game of the doubleheader 6-5, due in large part to a poor outing by Bob Feller, three home runs by Joe Dimaggio and leaving the tying and winning run in scoring position to end the game, Cleveland came back to win the second game 5-1. The Indians used Don Black’s best start of the season and four double plays to defeat nemesis, southpaw Ed Lopat.
The day didn’t go as originally planned, but earning their first win of the season against the Yankees and a split on the day in front of 78,431 fans was good enough for manager Lou Boudreau.
May 23, 1948
Big time players rise to the occasion on a big time stage.
The Yankees’ Joe DiMaggio rose higher than the Indians’ Bob Feller in front of the second largest crowd to ever watch a big league baseball game, and the biggest ever in Cleveland. DiMaggio hit three home runs and drove in all six runs for New York, while Feller could not hold an early four-run lead with 78,431 in the seats.
“I hit three once before,” DiMaggio said. “It was so long ago, I don’t remember the other team. I know it wasn’t Cleveland though.” DiMaggio hit three home runs once before, at St. Louis on June 13, 1937.
May 23, 1948
Joe Gordon knows what a good shortstop looks like when he sees one. He’s played with them his entire career.
For Gordon, today’s doubleheader between the New York Yankees and his Cleveland Indians is like the past meeting the present of his career. Gordon, originally a youthful Yankee, helped lead the Bronx Bombers make five World Series, winning four, prior to World War II. Now, Gordon is a veteran trying to help the Indians to their first World Series in 28 years.
May 22, 1948
There are moments for every rookie looking to break into big league baseball and make a name for himself, moments that define you as mainstay or just a flash in the pan.
Saturday Tribe rookie Gene Bearden may have had one of those moments. It appears Bearden could be here to stay.
Bearden worked bases loaded jams in the first and third innings to escape without allowing a run and then only allowed three hits in the final six frames to shutout the Boston Red Sox 7-0 on Saturday afternoon in front of 28,997 spectators on this Ladies’ Day crowd. For Bearden, he now has made three starts on the season and won them all. Today’s test was against the best offense he had faced yet, the Red Sox much more powerful a team than either the Washington Senators or Philadelphia Athletics.
May 20, 1948
Thursday evening the Indians casually strolled to a victory over the Boston Red Sox by a score of 13-4 in front of 43,158 fans at Municipal Stadium.
While the Indians did tally another home run, adding to their league lead, they circled the bases even slower than their normal trot. On this evening, the Indians needed to only walk the bases in order to score all the runs necessary. Cleveland was the beneficiary of 18 walks issued by the Red Sox, tying a modern day major league record.
May 19, 1948
Indians starting pitcher Bob Feller pitched a three-hit gem and was aided by a five-run fifth inning, as Cleveland defeated Philadelphia by a 6-1 final on Wednesday night, completing the two-game sweep of Connie Mack’s Athletics.
The Indians jumped on the board in the bottom of the third. Catcher Jim Hegan singled to left and was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Feller. Thurman Tucker delivered a single to left, scoring Hegan from second and giving the Indians a 1-0 lead off of Philadelphia starter, Bill Dietrich.
May 17, 1948
Throughout the early months of the 1948 season, the Indians have been looking for a starting pitcher or two to throw behind Bob Feller and Bob Lemon. “The Bobs” have accounted for much of the Indians early season success — as the Indians currently sit in second place behind the incoming Philadelphia Athletics — but they will need at least one more reliable pitcher if they want to seriously contend for the American League pennant.
If Sunday was any indication, the Indians and manager Lou Boudreau might have found that pitcher.
May 16, 1948
If the second place Indians are serious about contending for the American League pennant this season, they can’t be dropping games to slumping teams like the Chicago White Sox very often. In game two of their Sunday doubleheader, the Tribe made amends for their game one loss with a 9-2 victory over the Pale Hose at the Stadium.
The Indians got an outstanding starting pitching performance from an unlikely source, as rookie pitcher Bill Kennedy (1-0, 3.86) was fantastic in his first Major League start. Opposing him was former All-Star Orval Grove (1-3, 5.08), who was not nearly as effective as his left-handed counterpart.
May 16, 1948
Home runs by Allie Clark and Pat Seerey were not enough to make Cleveland victorious — or even keep them in the lineup, for that matter— as the Chicago White Sox ended their nine game losing streak by defeating the Indians by a score of 6-4 in 10 innings at the Stadium.
The White Sox were led by the clutch performance of Bob Kennedy and by the outstanding hitting of star third baseman “Luscious” Luke Appling. The Indians were guided to defeat by the questionable managing of player/manager Lou Boudreau, who was booed mightily for decisions made late in the ballgame.
May 15, 1948
Feller (4-2, 2.58) went the distance for the Tribe, allowing one run on six hits with three strikeouts. In stark contrast, White Sox starter Joe Haynes (1-4, 5.67) continued his poor start to the season and kept Chicago floundering with an awful 3-15 record. Cleveland put its foot on the gas early and never let up on baseball’s worst team in front of 15,243 fans at the Stadium.
May 14, 1948
Despite being 11-5 after 16 games — and 13 road games — the Cleveland Indians still have a long-term problem with their pitching staff, namely their starting rotation.
Bob Feller and Bob Lemon have combined to win six of the Tribe’s 11 games and appear to be ready to be a one-two punch for the season. However, the only win by a starter other than the tandem is Gene Bearden’s 6-1 victory last Saturday in Washington. Al Gettel and Don Black have failed twice each. Bob Muncrief has stumbled once and Bill Kennedy will have his chance on Sunday against the struggling Chicago White Sox.
It seems everyone has had a chance to start, everyone except Ed Klieman.
May 10, 1948
Three’s were wild on Monday afternoon when the Indians used three runs in both the first and second innings to compensate for the three they gave up in the first frame, and a triple play in the eighth inning helped spur the Tribe to a three-game sweep of the Red Sox at Fenway Park. The 12-7 victory in front of 11,101 Boston faithful kept the Indians even with their first place counterpart, the Philadelphia Athletics.
Al Gettel’s second start of the season was his second short effort, as he did not survive the third inning. But Ed Klieman pitched six strong innings in relief to slow Boston’s offense enough for the Tribe to bang out 12 runs, 12 hits and two more home runs. They now have a league leading 28 home runs in just 15 games.