The 1954 Cleveland Indians advanced to the World Series for the first time in six years. It was the team's third American League championship in franchise history. The Indians' 111-43 record is the all-time record for winning percentage by an American League team (.721), as this was before 162 games were played in a season.
For more than 60 years, Cleveland had been the only team in Major League Baseball to have compiled two different 11-game winning streaks within the same season, until the Toronto Blue Jays were able to accomplish the rare feat during the 2015 regular season.
However, their great regular-season record would not be enough to win the World Series, as the Indians lost in four games to the New York Giants, after which the Indians would not return to the Fall Classic until 1995.
|1954 Cleveland Indians|
|1954 American League Champions|
|Major League affiliations|
|Owner(s)||Myron H. Wilson|
|General manager(s)||Hank Greenberg|
|Local radio||WERE (1300)|
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|New York Yankees||103||51||.669||8|
|Chicago White Sox||94||60||.610||17|
|Boston Red Sox||69||85||.448||42|
1954 American League Records
Sources:        
|1954 Cleveland Indians|
Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts
Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts
This was the first time (and only to date) that the Cleveland Indians were swept in a World Series. The only highlight for the Indians was that they kept the Yankees from winning their sixth straight series. The last time the Yankees had not won the series or pennant beforehand was 1948, when, again, the Indians kept them out (although that year, they won the Series). It was also the only World Series from 1949 to 1958 which did not feature the Yankees.
|New York (N)||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||5||9||3|
|W: Marv Grissom (1–0) L: Bob Lemon (0–1)|
|HR: NYG – Dusty Rhodes (1)|
|New York (N)||0||0||0||0||2||0||1||0||x||3||4||0|
|W: Johnny Antonelli (1–0) L: Early Wynn (0–1)|
|HR: CLE – Al Smith (1) NYG – Dusty Rhodes (2)|
|New York (N)||1||0||3||0||1||1||0||0||0||6||10||1|
|W: Rubén Gómez (1–0) L: Mike Garcia (0–1) S: Hoyt Wilhelm (1)|
|HR: CLE – Vic Wertz (1)|
|New York (N)||0||2||1||0||4||0||0||0||0||7||10||3|
|W: Don Liddle (1–0) L: Bob Lemon (0–2) S: Johnny Antonelli (1)|
|HR: CLE – Hank Majeski (1)|
1954 World Series (4–0): New York Giants (N.L.) over Cleveland Indians (A.L.)
|New York Giants||1||2||6||0||7||1||1||0||0||3||21||33||7|
|Total Attendance: 251,507 Average Attendance: 62,877|
|Winning Player's Share: – $11,118 Losing Player's Share – $6,713|
|AAA||Indianapolis Indians||American Association||Kerby Farrell|
|A||Reading Indians||Eastern League||Pinky May|
|B||Keokuk Kernels||Illinois–Indiana–Iowa League||Jo-Jo White|
|B||Spartanburg Peaches||Tri-State League||Jimmy Bloodworth|
|C||Fargo-Moorhead Twins||Northern League||Phil Seghi|
|C||Sherbrooke Indians||Provincial League||Mark Wylie|
|D||Jacksonville Beach Sea Birds||Florida State League||Spud Chandler|
|D||Tifton Indians||Georgia–Florida League||Ed Hartness|
|D||Pauls Valley Raiders||Sooner State League||Lloyd Pearson and Bennie Warren|
LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Fargo-Moorhead
Arthur Joseph Houtteman (August 7, 1927 – May 6, 2003) was an American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for 12 seasons in the American League with the Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles. In 325 career games, Houtteman pitched 1,555 innings and posted a win-loss record of 87–91, with 78 complete games, 14 shutouts, and a 4.14 earned run average (ERA).
Known on the sandlot for his pitching motion, Houtteman was signed by scout Wish Egan in 1945 at 17 years of age. He was recruited by major league teams, and joined a Tigers pitching staff that had lost players to injuries and World War II. After moving between the major and minor leagues over the next few years, he was nearly killed in an automobile accident just before the 1949 season. Houtteman rebounded from his injuries and went on to win 15 games that season and made his only All-Star appearance in the following year.
He played three more seasons with the Tigers, then was sold to Cleveland, where he pitched for the pennant-winning Indians during their 1954 season. After losing his starting job, he played two more seasons with the Indians before he was bought by the Orioles, and he finished his final season in Major League Baseball with them. Houtteman ended his baseball career in the minor leagues and became a sales executive in Detroit. In 2003, Houtteman died at the age of 75.Bob Lemon
Robert Granville Lemon (September 22, 1920 – January 11, 2000) was an American right-handed pitcher and manager in Major League Baseball (MLB). Lemon was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a player in 1976.
Lemon was raised in California where he played high school baseball and was the state player of the year in 1938. At the age of 17, Lemon began his professional baseball career in the Cleveland Indians organization, with whom he played for his entire professional career. Lemon was called up to Cleveland's major league team as a utility player in 1941. He then joined the United States Navy during World War II and returned to the Indians in 1946. That season was the first Lemon would play at the pitcher position.
The Indians played in the 1948 World Series and were helped by Lemon's two pitching wins as they won the club's first championship since 1920. In the early 1950s, Cleveland had a starting pitching rotation which included Lemon, Bob Feller, Mike Garcia and Early Wynn. During the 1954 season, Lemon had a career-best 23–7 win–loss record and the Indians set a 154-game season AL-record win mark when they won 111 games before they won the American League (AL) pennant. He was an All-Star for seven consecutive seasons and recorded seven seasons of 20 or more pitching wins in a nine-year period from 1948–1956.
Lemon was a manager with the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees. He was named Manager of the Year with the White Sox and Yankees. In 1978, he was fired as manager of the White Sox. He was named Yankees manager one month later and he led the team to a 1978 World Series title. Lemon became the first AL manager to win a World Series after assuming the managerial role in the middle of a season.Early Wynn
Early Wynn Jr. (January 6, 1920 – April 4, 1999), nicknamed "Gus", was an American professional baseball right-handed pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Washington Senators, Cleveland Indians, and Chicago White Sox, during his 23-year MLB career. Wynn was identified as one of the most intimidating pitchers in the game, having combined his powerful fastball with a hard attitude toward batters. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.
Wynn signed with the Senators at the age of 17, deciding to forego completing his high school education, in pursuit of a baseball career. He spent a couple of seasons in Minor League Baseball (MiLB), achieving a brief MLB stint in 1939. Wynn returned to the big leagues in 1941, pitching his first full MLB season in 1942. Wynn missed all of 1945 and a portion of the 1946 season, while serving in the United States Army during the latter part of World War II.
Wynn was a member of one of baseball's best pitching rotations, along with Bob Feller, Mike Garcia, and Bob Lemon, while with the Indians in the mid-1950s. He won the 1959 Cy Young Award, beginning to rely more heavily on the knuckleball, as the velocity of his pitches declined. Wynn retired following the 1963 season. He finished with exactly 300 career wins, having spent the last several months of his career in pursuit of that win.
Wynn served as a coach and broadcaster in the big leagues, after his retirement as a player. In 1999, he was included on The Sporting News list of the 100 greatest players in baseball history. Wynn died that year in an assisted living facility following heart-related problems and a stroke.Jim Hegan
James Edward Hegan (August 3, 1920 – June 17, 1984) was an American professional baseball player, coach, and scout, in a career that lasted, all-told, almost 40 years. He played for seventeen seasons as a Major League Baseball (MLB) catcher from 1941 to 1942 and 1946 to 1960, most notably for the Cleveland Indians. While Hegan was a light-hitting player, he was notable for being one of the best defensive catchers of his era and a capable handler of pitching staffs.List of Cleveland Indians managers
The Cleveland Indians are a professional baseball franchise based in Cleveland, Ohio that formed in 1901. They are members of the Central division of Major League Baseball's American League. The current manager of the Indians is Terry Francona, who replaced Manny Acta after the end of the 2012 season.
The Indians have had 46 managers in their history. Jimmy McAleer became the first manager of the then Cleveland Blues in 1901, serving for one season. In 1901, McAleer was replaced with Bill Armour. The Indians made their first playoff appearance under Tris Speaker in 1920. Out of the six managers that have led the Indians into the postseason, only Speaker and Lou Boudreau have led the Indians to World Series championships, doing so in 1920 and 1948, respectively. Al López (1954), Mike Hargrove (1995 and 1997) and Terry Francona (2016) have also appeared in World Series with the Indians. The highest winning percentage of any manager who managed at least one season was Lopez, with a percentage of .617. The lowest percentage was Johnny Lipon's .305 in 1971, although he managed for only 59 games. The lowest percentage of a manager with at least one season with the Indians was McAleer's .397 in 1901.
Armour became the first manager who held the title of manager for the Indians for more than one season. Boudreau has managed more games (1383) than any other Indians manager, closely followed by Hargrove (1364). Charlie Manuel, Eric Wedge, Speaker, Boudreau, Lopez, and Hargrove are the only managers to have led the Indians into the playoffs. Speaker, Boudreau, Lopez, Walter Johnson, Joe Gordon, Nap Lajoie and Frank Robinson are the seven members of the Baseball Hall of Fame who are also former managers of this club. Of those seven, Lopez is the only one inducted as a manager.The highest win–loss total for an Indians manager is held by Boudreau, with 728 wins and 649 losses. Wedge became the first Indians manager to win the Manager of the Year award, in 2007.Mike Garcia (baseball, born 1923)
Edward Miguel "Mike" Garcia (November 17, 1923 – January 13, 1986), nicknamed "Big Bear" and "Mexican Mike", was an American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB). Garcia was born in San Gabriel, California, and grew up in Orosi, Tulare County. He entered minor league baseball at the age of 18. After one season, he joined the U.S. Army and served for three years. Following his military discharge, Garcia returned to baseball. He was promoted to the MLB in 1948. He played 12 of his 14 major league seasons for the Cleveland Indians. From 1949 to 1954, Garcia joined Bob Lemon, Early Wynn, and Bob Feller on the Indians' "Big Four" pitching staff. Historians consider the "Big Four" to be one of the greatest starting pitching rotations in baseball history. During those six seasons with the "Big Four", Garcia compiled a record of 104 wins against 57 losses. He had two 20-win seasons and led the American League (AL) in earned run average (ERA) and shutouts twice each.
Garcia's best season came in 1954 when the Indians won a league record 111 games. Baseball historian Stephen Lombardi said that Garcia may have been the best AL pitcher that year. Garcia remained with the Indians until 1959, but never duplicated the success he had achieved in 1954. In his last five seasons with Cleveland, he finished with losing records three times. After leaving the Indians, Garcia spent a season with the Chicago White Sox and a season with the Washington Senators.
Garcia retired from baseball in 1961. He developed diabetes within a few years and suffered from kidney disease and heart problems until his death. Garcia died outside Cleveland at the age of 62 and was buried in his home state of California. He was the only member of the "Big Four" not elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, but he has been included on a list of the 100 Greatest Indians and has been inducted into the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame. Baseball experts and former teammates have commented on Garcia's overpowering pitching, his fine control and his low ERA.
1954 MLB season by team
|Postseason appearances (14)|
|Division championships (10)|
|American League pennants (6)|
|World Series championships (2)|
|Hall of Fame inductees|