1949 Cleveland Indians season

The 1949 Cleveland Indians season was the 49th in franchise history. The club entered the season as the defending World Champions. On March 5, 1949, Indians minority owner Bob Hope donned a Cleveland Indians uniform and posed with manager Lou Boudreau and vice president Hank Greenberg as the World Series champions opened spring training camp in Tucson, Arizona.[1]

1949 Cleveland Indians
Major League affiliations
Location
Other information
Owner(s)Bill Veeck, Ellis Ryan
General manager(s)Bill Veeck
Manager(s)Lou Boudreau
Local televisionWEWS-TV
Bob Neal, Tris Speaker
Local radioWJW
Jack Graney, Jimmy Dudley
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Offseason

Regular season

Following their 1948 World Series championship, the 1949 Indians season proved to be a disappointment. Despite having the best overall pitching and fielding statistics in either the American or National Leagues, the Indians finished a distant third place behind the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. A team roster that boasted seven future members of the Baseball Hall of Fame (Lou Boudreau, Larry Doby, Bob Feller, Joe Gordon, Bob Lemon, Satchel Paige, & Early Wynn) could not deliver a second consecutive championship to Cleveland. During the season, Indians fan Charlie Lupica spent 117 days on a flagpole, waiting for the Indians to regain first place. They never did, and he gave up his pursuit when the Indians were mathematically eliminated on September 25.[6]

Season standings

American League W L Pct. GB
New York Yankees 97 57 .630 --
Boston Red Sox 96 58 .623 1
Cleveland Indians 89 65 .578 8
Detroit Tigers 87 67 .565 10
Philadelphia Athletics 81 73 .526 16
Chicago White Sox 63 91 .409 34
St. Louis Browns 53 101 .344 44
Washington Senators 50 104 .325 47

Record vs. opponents

1949 American League Records

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]
Team BOS CWS CLE DET NYY PHI STL WSH
Boston 17–5 8–14 15–7–1 9–13 14–8 15–7 18–4
Chicago 5–17 7–15 8–14 7–15 6–16 15–7 15–7
Cleveland 14–8 15–7 13–9 10–12 9–13 15–7 13–9
Detroit 7–15–1 14–8 9–13 11–11 14–8 14–8 18–4
New York 13–9 15–7 12–10 11–11 14–8 17–5–1 15–7
Philadelphia 8–14 16–6 13–9 8–14 8–14 12–10 16–6
St. Louis 7–15 7–15 7–15 8–14 5–17–1 10–12 9–13
Washington 4–18 7–15 9–13 4–18 7–15 6–16 13–9

Notable transactions

Roster

1949 Cleveland Indians
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Other batters

Manager

Coaches

Player stats

Batting

Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Jim Hegan 152 468 105 .224 8 55
1B Mickey Vernon 153 584 170 .291 18 83
2B Joe Gordon 148 533 136 .251 20 84
SS Lou Boudreau 134 475 135 .284 4 60
3B Ken Keltner 80 246 57 .232 8 30
OF Dale Mitchell 149 640 203 .317 3 56
OF Larry Doby 147 547 153 .280 24 85
OF Bob Kennedy 121 424 117 .276 9 57

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Ray Boone 86 258 65 .252 4 26
Thurman Tucker 80 197 48 .244 0 14
Johnny Berardino 50 116 23 .198 0 13
Allie Clark 35 74 13 .176 1 9
Luke Easter 21 45 10 .222 0 2
Al Rosen 23 44 7 .159 0 5
Mike Tresh 38 37 8 .216 0 1
Hal Peck 33 29 9 .310 0 9
Minnie Miñoso 9 16 3 .188 1 1
Hank Edwards 5 15 4 .267 1 1
Bobby Ávila 31 14 3 .214 0 3
Milt Nielsen 3 9 1 .111 0 0
Herman Reich 1 2 1 .500 0 0
Fred Marsh 1 0 0 .000 0 0

Pitching

Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Bob Lemon 37 279.2 22 10 2.99 138
Bob Feller 36 211.0 15 14 3.75 108
Early Wynn 26 164.2 11 7 4.15 62
Gene Bearden 32 127.0 8 8 5.10 41

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Steve Gromek 40 92.0 4 6 3.33 22
Sam Zoldak 27 53 1 2 4.25 11

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Al Benton 40 9 6 10 2.12 41
Mike Garcia 41 14 5 2 2.36 94
Satchel Paige 31 4 7 5 3.04 54
Frank Papish 25 1 0 1 3.19 23

Awards and honors

All Star Game

Larry Doby, Outfielder, reserve

Joe Gordon, Second baseman, reserve

Jim Hegan, Catcher, reserve

Bob Lemon, Pitcher, reserve

Dale Mitchell, Outfielder, reserve

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA San Diego Padres Pacific Coast League Bucky Harris
AA Oklahoma City Indians Texas League Joe Vosmik
A Dayton Indians Central League Ski Melillo
A Wilkes-Barre Barons Eastern League Bill Norman
B St. Petersburg Saints Florida International League Myril Hoag, Harry Sullivan,
Johnny Beazley and Dick Porter
B Harrisburg Senators Interstate League Les Bell
B Spartanburg Peaches Tri-State League Kerby Farrell
C Tucson Cowboys Arizona–Texas League Gene Lillard
C Bakersfield Indians California League Harry Griswold
C Pittsfield Indians Canadian–American League Gene Hasson
C Burlington Indians Central Association Lloyd Brown
D Cordele Indians Georgia–Florida League Hal Lee
D Iola Indians Kansas–Oklahoma–Missouri League Winlow Johnson
D Union City Greyhounds KITTY League Tony Rensa and Rudy York
D Stroudsburg Poconos North Atlantic League Frank Radler
D Zanesville Indians Ohio–Indiana League Pat McLaughlin
D Batavia Clippers PONY League Ed Kobesky
D Green Bay Blue Jays Wisconsin State League Phil Seghi

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Stroudsburg[10]

Notes

  1. ^ http://www.cleveland.com/homegrown/index.ssf?/homegrown/more/hope/allroads.html Archived June 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Bob Chakales at Baseball Reference
  3. ^ a b Grant Dunlap at Baseball Reference
  4. ^ Mickey Vernon at Baseball Reference
  5. ^ Brooks Lawrence at Baseball Reference
  6. ^ Veeck, Bill; Linn, Ed (April 7, 2001). "Veeck--As In Wreck: The Autobiography of Bill Veeck". University of Chicago Press. Retrieved April 22, 2018 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ Great Baseball Feats, Facts and Figures, 2008 Edition, p. 98, David Nemec and Scott Flatow, A Signet Book, Penguin Group, New York, ISBN 978-0-451-22363-0
  8. ^ "1949 Major League Baseball Standard Pitching | Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  9. ^ "1949 American League Standard Fielding | Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  10. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007

References

Allie Clark

Alfred Aloysius "Allie" Clark (June 16, 1923 – April 2, 2012) was an American right fielder in Major League Baseball who played for seven seasons in the American League with the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Philadelphia Athletics and Chicago White Sox. In 358 career games, Clark recorded a batting average of .262 and accumulated 32 home runs and 149 runs batted in (RBIs).

Clark was born in South Amboy, New Jersey, where he attended St. Mary's High School, and joined the New York Yankees organization after graduating. He spent the next six seasons playing minor league baseball and serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. He made his major league debut in 1947, and after one year with the Yankees, he spent four seasons with the Cleveland Indians. He was a member of the World Champion Yankees and Indians after the two teams won the 1947 World Series and 1948 World Series, respectively. He then played with the Philadelphia Athletics and Chicago White Sox through 1953, and played minor league baseball until 1958. After retiring, he returned to South Amboy and resided there until his death in 2012.

Sam Zoldak

Samuel Walter Zoldak, nicknamed Sad Sam, (December 8, 1918 – August 25, 1966) was an American professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for nine seasons in the American League with the St. Louis Browns, Cleveland Indians, and Philadelphia Athletics. In 250 career games, Zoldak pitched 929⅓ innings and posted a win–loss record of 43–53, with 30 complete games, five shutouts, and a 3.54 earned run average (ERA).

Although an average hitting pitcher in his major league career, posting a .175 batting average (50-for-286) with just 16 runs and 11 RBI, he was a very good fielding pitcher, posting a .984 fielding percentage with only four errors in 258 total chances.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Zoldak began his professional career in the low-level minor leagues, working his way up despite being released from his first team. The St. Louis Browns acquired him in 1944 and placed him on their major league roster. He debuted on May 23, and spent the next four years as a spot starter, working both as a starting pitcher and relief pitcher. He was traded to the Cleveland Indians in 1948, and helped lead the team to the 1948 World Series. After two more years with Cleveland, he was traded to the Philadelphia Athletics, the organization he originally started with, and played two seasons there. After a short minor league stint in 1953, he retired from the game, and died in 1966.

Steve Gromek

Stephen Joseph Gromek (January 15, 1920 – March 12, 2002) was an American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for 17 seasons in the American League with the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers. In 447 career games, Gromek pitched 2,064⅔ innings and posted a win–loss record of 123–108 with 92 complete games, 17 shutouts, and a 3.41 earned run average (ERA).

Born in Hamtramck, Michigan, Gromek originally began playing professionally with the Indians organization as an infielder, but became a pitcher early on, and made his major league debut in 1941. He played sparingly his first three years before becoming an everyday starter in 1944 and 1945, earning his lone All-Star appearance in the latter year. After the war ended, he became a spot starter, spending time as both a starting pitcher and relief pitcher. Gromek was the winning pitcher in game four of the 1948 World Series with the Cleveland Indians. His career is best remembered for a post game celebratory photo taken of him hugging Larry Doby, the first black player in the American League, whose third inning home run provided the margin of victory. The photo became a symbol for integration in baseball.Gromek remained in the spot starter role with the Indians until 1953, when he was traded to the Tigers. The Tigers used him solely as a starting pitcher, and had 18 wins in his first full season with them in 1954. He played two more full seasons with the Tigers, and retired during the 1957 season. Gromek then became a player-manager for the Erie Sailors for one year, became a car insurance sales representative after his retirement, and died in 2002.

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Postseason appearances (14)
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