For the sixth time in team history, the Cleveland Indians will play in a Game 1 on the biggest baseball stage of them all – the World Series.
Strange and inconvenient circumstances have prevented the Indians from owning home field advantage in the series in the past, which makes this year’s World Series opener from Progressive Field the first time in club history that they have hosted Game 1 in Cleveland. In that small sample size, there have been three complete games hurled by Indians starters, a controversial call, a walk-off homer, two games decided by one run, and all five games that were decided by three runs or less.
Baseball fans worldwide could ask for nothing more than that kind of excitement in the 2016 Fall Classic as the Indians host the Chicago Cubs in a matchup of the two longest suffering franchises in Major League Baseball today. Working against the Indians is a 1-4 record in starting the first game of the World Series, but all five games have been road contests. Progressive Field has played as friendly confines for the Tribe this year, both during the regular season and in four straight playoff games to start this postseason.
1954 – The Cleveland Indians match a season-high by extending their winning streak to eleven straight games as they defeat the Chicago White Sox 7-4 at Cleveland Stadium.
Bob Feller improved to 13-3 with the win as the Indians improve …
Just two seasons ago, American League Central Division foe Detroit Tigers were swept by the San Francisco Giants to win the World Series. The Indians knew about being swept by the Giants a couple generations ago.
The Tigers could have been swept by the Giants in the World Series after setting an American League record for wins – like the Indians in 1954.
The Indians had won no fewer than 89 games in the five years since winning the 1948 World Series – and they had nothing to show for it. The Yankees won the pennant in each of those years, and became the only team to win five consecutive World Series.
But in 1954, it all came together for the Tribe. Unlike this year’s Tigers, they didn’t have a Triple Crown winner, but Indians led the American League in each Triple Crown category – Bobby Avila hit .341 to lead the league, and Larry Doby hit 32 home runs and 126 RBI. Early Wynn and Bob Lemon each won 23 games, Mike Garcia won 19 and Bob Feller – coming to the end of his career but still having a little left in the tank – went 13-3.
It’s crowded at the top.
A big name star or personality may feel crowded by the people around them, but in the case of the Cleveland Indians they’re crowded by the top of the standings.
This afternoon the Indians lost 4-3 at the hands of the Detroit Tigers in front of 10,464 fans at Briggs Stadium. Bob Lemon was not at his best and wild with control early, while the Tribe offense could not muster a big inning despite three home runs. Freddie Hutchinson stifled the Tribe early and only allowed solo home runs through a cold, cutting wind.