July 4, 1948
Lead the American League on the Fourth of July and you are likely to be in the World Series in October. Unless you are the Cleveland Indians.
In the 47-year history of the American League, the team on top on July 4 has appeared in the World Series 30 times. Since 1941, the July 4 benchmark has proved flawless. The New York Yankees did it in ’41, ’42 and ’43, the St. Louis Browns in ’44, the Detroit Tigers in ’45, the Boston Red Sox in ’46 and the Yankees again last season when they led by seven and a half games on the Fourth.
July 1, 1948
After not getting a hit last night, the Detroit Tigers exploded for 13 base knocks this afternoon, snapping Bob Muncrief’s scoreless innings streak and sending the Tribe to a 9-5 loss.
Cleveland fell behind early, but battled back to take a late lead, only to see Detroit’s comeback one-up its own. It was Detroit’s first victory against the Tribe at Briggs Stadium this season, finally giving the 11,644 fans in attendance something to cheer about. The Indians had won the first five games between the two in the Motor City.
June 27, 1948
Sometimes a little left is all right. That was Indians manager Lou Boudreau’s approach this afternoon.
Boudreau used seven right-handed hitters in his lineup to jump-start his offense against Washington southpaw Mickey Haefner. It paid off with four runs in the first inning, which was enough for the Tribe’s lefty, Sam Zoldak, to go the distance for a 4-1 victory in the second game of the double-dip. Zoldak earned his second victory in as many starts as a member of the Tribe.
June 22, 1948
Stock in the Indians and their pennant hopes rose a little this afternoon when newcomer Sam Zoldak pitched into the ninth inning and defeated the Yankess, 5-2.
The surprising crowd of 14,341 was impressed with the chubby, southpaw’s first start for the Tribe. Zoldak held the Yankees scoreless for six innings and appeared to tire a bit in the latter third of the game. He has not thrown a complete game yet this season.
June 16, 1948
Just hours before Tuesday night’s midnight trade deadline struck, the Cleveland Indians and St. Louis Browns worked out a trade of left-handed starting pitchers.
The Indians acquired veteran Sam Zoldak in the deal in exchange for rookie Bill Kennedy and a “large amount of cash.” The Browns also will acquire a player to be named later that will be sent to St. Louis prior to the start of the 1949 season.
“It was a case of begging for him on our knees,” Indians President Bill Veeck said. “I think it’ll be worth it though. He should help a lot.”