Larry Doby settled into the outfield in Cleveland Stadium and was called the best center fielder in the game by the Sporting News in 1950. Doby led the American League with 32 home runs and 126 RBI as the Indians won the pennant in 1954.
He was traded to Chicago after the 1955 season, and spent two years at Comiskey before coming back to Cleveland. The Indians traded him to Detroit in 1959 for Tito Francona. Doby was the first black player for the Tigers. Bill Veeck traded midseason for him to play for the White Sox that year as well.
Doby, the second black player in the majors, also became the second black manager. Doby was a coach for the Indians when he was bypassed for Frank Robinson, the first black manager, and went to Chicago, where he was reunited once again with Veeck. He became the Pale Hose manager in 1978 after Veeck fired Bob Lemon, and resigned after the 1979 season.
October 12, 1948
This morning the Cleveland Indians arrived home from Boston, victors of the 1948 World Series, and received a heroes’ parade upon their arrival.
A dozen slow moving vehicles carrying Indians players and personnel traveled from the Cleveland Terminal to University Circle. It was estimated that between 200,000 and 500,000 fans turned out to honor the first baseball championship in Cleveland in 28 years. Fans lined both sides of the street and threw paper and held signs from building windows.
While it seems reasonable that future pennants will be won and future players will become stars, this championship and squad seems special in that regardless of nationality or background, Clevelanders had a player on the team that embodied their morals and beliefs.
October 3, 1948
The pennant winning party scheduled for all weekend set over the horizon of Lake Erie without even a single champagne pop.
As the Detroit Tigers headed west with their season complete, the Cleveland Indians were set to travel east to Boston. However, after today’s 7-1 defeat at the hands of the Bengals, the Indians will not be headed Beantown to take on the Braves in the World Series. Instead, Cleveland will battle the Boston Red Sox for a 23rd time this season in a one-game playoff Monday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.
It is the first time in the American League’s 48-year history that two teams tied after 154 games. It’s only the second time in baseball history.
“The loss didn’t get (us) down,” Indians manager Lou Boudreau said after the game. “The boys just feel they’re going to Boston a day early.”
September 18, 1948
Behind the strong effort of Sam Zoldak on the mound, the Cleveland Indians won a third straight game to sweep the hapless Washington Senators on Saturday afternoon, 10-1.
With the series sweep, the Indians defeated a team that they needed to beat and improved to 87-55 on the season. They kept pace with the first place Boston Red Sox, who came from behind to defeat the St. Louis Browns. They picked up a full game on the New York Yankees, who were dealt a 4-3 loss at the hands of Detroit’s Hal Newhouser, shrinking their lead to a half-game on the Indians.
The Indians have now won ten of their last 12. The Senators leave town after extending their losing streak to 18 games, two short of the Major League record. Cleveland finished 16-6 against Washington this season.
September 15, 1948
The Cleveland Indians welcome the Washington Senators into town for a key three-game series starting Thursday on the lakefront.
The Indians (84-55) will enter play three and a half games behind the front running Boston Red Sox and two full games behind the second place New York Yankees. The Philadelphia Athletics have fallen out of the playoff picture, eight full games behind Boston.
The Senators (49-92) are seventh of eight American League teams and 39 ½ games in back of Boston. After winning the first game of September against the Chicago White Sox, they have proceeded to drop 15 straight games, including six against New York, two against Boston, and four against Philadelphia, all who have played significant roles in the Indians pursuit a championship.
September 12, 1948
The Cleveland Indians appear to be getting hot at the right time, now we’ll just have to see if enough time remains for the Tribe to chase down first place.
This afternoon the Indians did what a pennant contender should do, putting away the lowly St. Louis Browns early by plating five runs in the first four innings. They used the early lead to hold off a late rally from the Brownies to win 6-4 in front of 55,616 believers at Municipal Stadium. It was the Indians’ seventh straight triumph.
September 9, 1948
Sam Zoldak (9-9, 3.64) could probably get used to this, as the Indians left-hander vultured his second extra inning win in as many days when the Indians used 13 frames to beat the Detroit Tigers by a score of 3-2.
The game promised to be a good pitcher’s duel and turned out to be just that, as Bob Feller and Hal Newhouser locked horns in a battle of All-Stars. Indians reliever Satchel Paige was unable to hold a 2-1 lead in the ninth inning, but Zoldak shut the Tigers offense down out of the bullpen for the second straight game until Eddie Robinson got the game-winning single in the 13th. The Robinson knock scored third baseman Ken Keltner, who was honored this evening at the Stadium for spending ten years with the Indians organization.
September 3, 1948
With an opportunity to make up a half game on the Boston Red Sox in the standings and at least hold pat with the New York Yankees with a win, the Tribe instead fell behind early and couldn’t catch up in time, losing the second half of the twi-night doubleheader to the St. Louis Browns 4-3 in front of 9,473 fans at Sportsman’s Park.
Sam Zoldak was roughed up early by his former teammates and could not survive the third inning as the Browns scored four times in the first four innings. Cleveland rallied back against St. Louis starter Joe Ostrowski, but several sharply hit balls right at fielders resulted in double plays and rally killers. The loss instead drops the Indians to two full games behind the Red Sox. New York is now just a half game behind Boston for the top spot.
August 29, 1948
While in the thick of the pennant race in the American League over the last few weeks, the Cleveland Indians have begun to make it a frustrating habit to be charitable to some of the league’s worst teams.
In six recent games against the lowly White Sox and Senators, the Indians went 2-4.
What may be even more discouraging are the wins lost against the top teams in the American League because the relief corps is failing to provide any relief. Instead of gaining ground in the standings and saving close wins, the team has been repeatedly dealt devastating losses in potentially winnable ball games.
August 28, 1948
Walkoff victories come in many shapes and forms. This afternoon the Yankees collected a walkoff victory that was delivered to them with a bow on it, courtesy of the Cleveland Indians.
After eight strong innings from Sam Zoldak, the heat got the best of him and he was unable to pitch the ninth. The 100 degree temperatures left the southpaw fatigued and unable to finish the six-hit masterpiece he had been toiling. What transpired were two runs from the Yankees against the Indians’ bullpen and a 3-2 walkoff victory. New York did not log a hit, or even get the ball out of the infield, in the ninth inning.
August 19, 1948
The bases are just 90 feet apart or just 360 feet around the diamond to score a run, but lately it must look like miles for the opponents of the Cleveland Indians.
Last night Sam Zoldak shut out the St. Louis Browns, 3-0. The Browns were blanked in both their games in Cleveland this week and the Indians pitching staff has not allowed a run in 30 innings. The Tribesmen have not allowed a run since the sixth inning of the first game of their doubleheader last Sunday in Chicago.
August 18, 1948
It’s not a nice way to treat old friends, but hopefully the Browns will understand.
Former St. Louis Browns’ pitcher Sam Zoldak shutout his old mates Wednesday evening at Municipal Stadium by a score of 3-0 in front of 33,227 fans. The victory for Zoldak, and his new friends – the Cleveland Indians – extends their winning streak to a season-high seven games and moves them three games ahead of the rest of the American League. The shutout also extends the Indians’ team streak of scoreless innings to 30 frames, dating back to the seventh inning of the first game in Chicago on Sunday.