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.
September 13, 1948
The Indians blew a 2-0 lead, allowing two runs in the eighth inning to tie the game and another in the ninth to lose a heart-breaking game, 3-2, to the St. Louis Browns in a pennant race where every game matters.
Yet, it all seemed secondary or trivial after the bottom of the second inning.
Indians starting pitcher Don Black collapsed during his first at bat and was helped from the field by his teammates after suffering an apparent brain hemorrhage. Black was Cleveland’s spot starter in the replay of Sunday afternoon’s 3-3 tie that was called due to darkness. During his at bat Black fouled a ball off from Browns’ starting pitcher Bill Kennedy, then staggered back a step or two before collapsing.
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 11, 1948
In just his first full season as a starting pitcher, Bob Lemon has asserted himself as the ace of the Indians staff several times, but this afternoon may have been the culmination of his work to transform from a utility player to a star pitcher.
Lemon won his 20th game of the season after a rocky start with his control in the game. The Indians plated three early runs and had a six-run outburst to give the Tribe a 9-1 victory and sweep of Saturday’s doubleheader with the St. Louis Browns. It is the Indians’ sixth straight victory. Cleveland battered southpaw Al Gerheauser of St. Louis in his first big league appearance since June. The lefty was just recalled from Toledo yesterday.
September 11, 1948
In a weekend sure to fill even the biggest fans with their share of baseball, Steve Gromek started a busy weekend the right way with a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Browns on Saturday afternoon.
The Indians used two runs in the first inning and two more in the third to take control of the game while Gromek did not allow a hit to the Brownies until the fifth inning in front of 32,248 fans. Only 19,210 spectators were paid admissions for today’s Ladies Day crowd. Cleveland’s win is the first in a weekend that features a doubleheader today and tomorrow, a product of previous rainouts between St. Louis and the Tribe.
September 10, 1948
Gene Bearden (14-7, 2.72) is proving that he can do it all, as he led the Cleveland Indians past the Detroit Tigers on Friday afternoon by a score of 10-1.
Bearden, the Indians rookie southpaw sensation, drove in more runs with his bat than he allowed with his arm and gave the Indians a sweep of the lowly Tigers and their fourth consecutive win. The victory becomes even more important when Boston’s loss to the New York Yankees is considered, as Joe DiMaggio hit a tenth inning grand slam to sink the Red Sox on Friday at Fenway Park. The Indians now trail Boston by only three and a half games and New York by only one game.
August 22, 1948
The Indians now find themselves in a precarious position as a big series with the Red Sox looms.
A ninth-inning rally was stalled as the Tribe dropped a 4-3 decision before more than 57,000 fans in the nightcap of a doubleheader against the White Sox, who have taken three of four from the Tribe in this series. Prior to that, they had beaten the Indians three times in the previous 15 matchups.
With the loss, the Indians’ lead over Boston has been trimmed to half a game. The Red Sox beat the Senators 4-2 on Sunday. Steve Gromek is expected to take the hill for the Tribe in the first game of the series, and Crimson Hose manager “Marse Joe” McCarthy is expected to give the nod to Joe Dobson.
August 15, 1948
Cleveland’s Bob Lemon became baseball’s first 16-game winner this season behind an 8-0 complete game shutout of the White Sox on Sunday, completing the series sweep in Chicago.
Lemon (16-10) has shut out the Sox twice this season and has seven total on the year.
August 9, 1948
For much of July the Cleveland Indians and Eddie Robinson were each stuck in a slump, trying to survive in a pennant race. Often, Robinson drew brunt of the blame, citing if he would get hot and provide power in the middle of the order, the Tribe too would get hot.
Those backing Robinson might have been right.
Robinson hit his fourth home run in three games Monday night, pacing the Indians past the Tigers 6-2 at Briggs Stadium in front of 56,586 fans. The crowd was the largest in Detroit’s home schedule. Gene Bearden benefited from Robinson’s offense and stifled the Tigers for his seventh complete game of the season.
July 9, 1948
It likely will not be until after the All-Star break, but whenever Larry Doby is healthy enough to take the field, he’ll be the Tribe’s starting center fielder.
Doby played most of the last home stand in the center of the outfield, making several running catches and defensive gems. He’s hitting .286 for the season and upped his batting average more than 20 points while the Indians were home last time. He was having his best stretch of the season and as a big leaguer before twisting his ankle rounding second base on June 27.
June 18, 1948
After starting 27 of his first 29 games played this season, Cleveland outfielder Larry Doby has suddenly disappeared.
The 24-year-old Doby had started the season for manager Lou Boudreau’s Indians after winning the job out of spring training. After making five errors early in May while still adjusting to his new position, the former second baseman had just one more error in the next 20 games.
Coincidentally, Doby’s playing time has disappeared after the acquisition of outfielder Bob Kennedy from the Chicago White Sox in a trade two weeks ago. He had appeared in just one inning defensively since, concluding the Indians’ 5-0 win over the Washington Senators on June 4, until he started in center field against Boston on Thursday.
June 1, 1948
Over the course of any given season, a team will suffer through periods with some of its regular players on the bench in agony while recovering from injuries.
That time is now for the Tribe.
Three regulars in the Cleveland lineup have been notably absent during the course of the last few games.