The Yankees Bobby Brown And Indians Lou Boudreau In A Close Play At Third Base – 1949
New York – Umpire Joe Paparella announces his decision as Lou Boudreau of the Cleveland Indians slides into third on Allie Clark’s pinch single in the 7th inning at Yankee Stadium June 18. Bobby Brown, New York Yankees third baseman takes the throw, Yankees won 6-3. photo credit: Acme 6-18-49
With all that dust flying how could umpire Paparella make an accurate call?
Bob Feller Plays Baseball After Returning From The War
George Metkovich sent one of Rapid Robert’s curves over the right field fence, but Feller saw to it after the first time at bat that George received nothing good at the plate. Here Metkovich is shown running to first after sending a roller down to the first baseman. Feller is just receiving the throw to cover the base on the play.
While this looks like a typical spring training news photograph it is not. Continue reading →
Eddie Robinson, Four Time All-Star & The Oldest Living Major League Baseball Player Is 100 Today
Minnie Minoso and Eddie Robinson examine Ted Williams bat
(Eddie Robinson 1920-2021, see update at end of story)
Eddie Robinson, a big six foot two lefty first baseman who played for seven teams in a 13 year major league career, turns 100 December 15, 2020.
Born in Paris, TX, Eddie Robinson is among the few players still alive who played alongside and saw firsthand many of the great players of the twentieth century.
Robinson was in the big leagues from 1942 – 1957, missing three prime seasons to serve in the military during World War II. His career numbers are 172 home runs, 723 RBI’s and a .268 batting average.
Playing in the World Series could bring a player a financial bonanza, sometimes nearly as much as a regular season salary, When Robinson was traded after the season from the 1948 World Champion Cleveland Indians to the perennially terrible Washington Senators, he was surprisingly relieved and happy. Continue reading →
A Cleveland Indians Pitcher Has Not Stolen A Base Since 1967
In 1967 Cleveland Indians pitcher John O’Donoghue accomplished something that was not that uncommon at the time. On July 5, in the bottom of the fifth against the Detroit Tigers, O’Donoghue reached base on a force out. He then stole second base.
His steal was so uneventful it was not mentioned in most newspaper accounts of the game.
That unremarkable steal wound up being quite an achievement. It is the last time a Cleveland Indians pitcher stole a base. That’s right, 51 years ago, 1967. That it is the longest stretch any team in major league baseball has gone without one of their pitchers stealing a base.
There are three teams that came into the league through expansion where no pitcher has ever stolen a base. Two AL teams, the Seattle Mariners (1977) and the Tampa Bay Rays (1998) and one NL team the Miami Marlins (1993). Every other team has had a pitcher steal a base in the subsequent years.
Of course stolen bases have been steadily declining over the years for all of baseball.
But the idea has been propagated that pitchers are one-dimensional entities today. They’re specialists. They’re starters. They’re relievers. They may only be brought in to pitch to one batter. They’re not hitters. And they’re definitely not base runners. Continue reading →
Bob Feller’s Twelfth One-Hitter Sets A Record – May 1 1955
Cleveland, May 1 – 12th One-Hitter – Bobby Feller spells out “12” with baseballs today after winning his 12th one-hit game. Feller who held the major league record for single hitters even before today, came within eight outs of posting his fourth no-hitter as the Cleveland Indians beat Boston 2-0. credit: AP wirephoto
There will always be the proverbial argument of who was the fastest pitcher in baseball history. Had the modern radar gun technology been around 70 years ago, there is no doubt that Bob Feller would have been credited as the hardest thrower of his generation.
Roger Peckinpaugh (1891-1977) who was a player and managed from the dead ball era through the modern era and saw everyone from Walter Johnson to Nolan Ryan. Peckinpaugh reminisced in Donald Honig’s The Man in the Dugout (1977, Follett) about flame throwing pitchers.
“I never batted against Addie Joss, but I did against Smokey Joe Wood, Walter Johnson, and Lefty Grove, and I managed Bob Feller in his heyday. Who was the fastest? That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? I would say Walter Johnson. Now Bobby was fast all right, but he had that great big curveball to go along with it.” Continue reading →
Cubs In World Series, 1945; Indians Were World Champions, 1948
Cubs May Have Had Sluggers, But They Still Lost to Tigers in ’45; Indians Prevailed Over Braves in ’48
1945 Cubs Sluggers: (l-r) Lowery, Secory, Nicholson, Pafko and Sauer photo: William Greene
The news photograph above was captioned “1945 Cubs Sluggers.” That may be a bit of a misnomer as Harry “Peanuts” Lowery hit seven home runs in 143 games, the most he ever hit in his 13 year career.
Frank Secory hit no homers in 35 games. Bill “Swish” Nicholson, the only true slugger in this photograph led the National League in homers in 1943 and 1944 with 29 and 33 home runs respectively. In 1945 Nicholson led the Cubs with a mere 13 home runs in 151 games. Andy Pafko hit 12 home runs and drove in 110 runs in 144 games. And Ed Sauer had two homers in 49 games.
As a team the 1945 Cubs hit only 57 home runs. On the other hand their pitchers allowed only 57 home runs.
In the closely contested World Series, none of the “Cubs sluggers” hit a home run. National League MVP Phil Caverretta hit the only homer and led the Cubs with a .423 batting average.
Claude Passeau and Rudy York before game 1 1945 World Series photo: International News
Before game 4 of the World Series began, this photo was taken. The caption reads: Continue reading →
60 Years Ago Today Bob Feller Signs His Final Playing Contract
Indians pitcher Bob Feller (l) and catcher Jim Hegan (r) sit between GM Hank Greenberg as they sign their 1956 contracts – February 9, 1956
Bob Feller was one of the greatest pitchers in baseball; certainly many of his contemporaries thought so like Ted Williams who said that Feller was the fastest and best pitcher he ever faced. Feller’s career record of winning 266 games while losing just 162 was just one facet of his dominance. His blazing fastball helped him earn 44 shutouts, throw three no-hitters and 12 one-hitters.
Feller became the first American professional athlete to enlist in World War II by volunteering Continue reading →
Mark “Dutch” Weems, Ralph “Mickey” Scott and Wayne Garland
They were supposed to be the Baltimore Orioles pitchers of the future. Of the three Orioles pitchers seen here at spring training in March 1972, only one would have success in the major leagues.
Mark “Dutch” Weems (left) never made it to the majors and was out of organized ball in 1973 at the age of 22 after posting a 24-19 record in five minor league seasons. Ralph “Mickey” Scott (center – throwing) bounced round the majors from 1972 -1977 appearing in 133 games and compiling a 8-7 record. He passed away at the age of 64 in 2011.
The star of this group was Wayne Garland (right), the Orioles the fifth overall pick in the first round of the 1969 (June secondary) amateur baseball draft.
The Orioles took a chance by drafting Garland who had declined previous chances to play. The Pittsburgh Pirates chose Garland in the fifth round of the 1968 amateur draft but he did not sign with them. The St. Louis Cardinals then made him the first overall pick in the (January secondary) 1969 draft, but once again Garland did not sign.
Wayne Garland had six nondescript seasons in the minors and majors until 1976 when he went 20-7 with a 2.67 ERA for the Orioles. He was paid $23,000 that season and became a free agent in the off season.
It was the beginning of the free agency era in baseball and Garland became one of the highest paid players in the majors when he signed with the Cleveland Indians for $2.3 million for 10 years.
At the time I thought it was bizarre to give any player a ten year contract. As Ira Berkow of New York Times pointed out, “Many baseball people wondered how the Indians could pay so much for a player with only one good major league season. They are still wondering.” Continue reading →