1954 Cleveland Indians season

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.[1]

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
Location
Other information
Owner(s)Myron H. Wilson
General manager(s)Hank Greenberg
Manager(s)Al López
Local televisionWXEL
Local radioWERE (1300)
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Offseason

Regular season

Season standings

American League W L Pct. GB
Cleveland Indians 111 43 .721 --
New York Yankees 103 51 .669 8
Chicago White Sox 94 60 .610 17
Boston Red Sox 69 85 .448 42
Detroit Tigers 68 86 .442 43
Washington Senators 66 88 .429 45
Baltimore Orioles 54 100 .351 57
Philadelphia Athletics 51 103 .331 60

Record vs. opponents

1954 American League Records

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]
Team BAL BOS CWS CLE DET NYY PHI WSH
Baltimore 11–11 7–15 3–19 8–14 5–17 10–12 10–12
Boston 11–11 5–17 2–20–2 14–8 9–13 15–7 13–9
Chicago 15–7 17–5 11–11 12–10–1 7–15 17–5 15–7
Cleveland 19–3 20–2–2 11–11 14–8 11–11 18–4 18–4
Detroit 14–8 8–14 10–12–1 8–14 6–16 13–9 9–13
New York 17–5 13–9 15–7 11–11 16–6 18–4–1 13–9
Philadelphia 12–10 7–15 5–17 4–18 9–13 4–18–1 10–12–1
Washington 12–10 9–13 7–15 4–18 13–9 9–13 12–10–1

Notable transactions

Roster

1954 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 139 423 99 .234 11 40
1B Vic Wertz 94 295 81 .275 14 48
2B Bobby Ávila 143 555 189 .341 15 67
3B Al Rosen 137 466 140 .300 24 102
SS George Strickland 112 361 77 .213 6 37
LF Al Smith 131 481 135 .281 11 50
CF Larry Doby 153 577 157 .272 32 126
RF Dave Philley 133 452 102 .226 12 60

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
Wally Westlake 85 240 63 .263 11 42
Rudy Regalado 65 180 45 .250 2 24
Bill Glynn 111 171 43 .251 5 18
Sam Dente 68 169 45 .266 1 19
Hank Majeski 57 121 34 .281 3 17
Dave Pope 60 102 30 .294 4 13
Hal Naragon 46 101 24 .238 0 12
Dale Mitchell 53 60 17 .283 1 6
Mickey Grasso 4 6 2 .333 1 1
Luke Easter 6 6 1 .167 0 0
Rocky Nelson 4 4 0 .000 0 0
Joe Ginsberg 3 2 1 .500 0 1
Jim Dyck 2 1 1 1.000 0 1
Bob Kennedy 1 0 0 ---- 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
Early Wynn 40 270.2 23 11 2.73 155
Mike Garcia 45 258.2 19 8 2.64 129
Bob Lemon 36 258.1 23 7 2.72 110
Art Houtteman 32 188 15 7 3.35 68
Bob Feller 19 140 13 3 3.09 59

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
Ray Narleski 42 3 3 13 2.22 52
Don Mossi 40 6 1 7 1.94 55
Hal Newhouser 26 7 2 7 2.51 25
Bob Hooper 17 0 0 2 2.72 12
Dave Hoskins 14 0 1 0 3.04 9
Bob Chakales 3 2 0 0 0.87 3
José Santiago 1 0 0 0 0.00 1
Dick Tomanek 1 0 0 0 5.40 0

1954 World Series

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.

Game 1

September 29, 1954, at the Polo Grounds in New York

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Cleveland (A) 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 8 0
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: NYGDusty Rhodes (1)

Game 2

September 30, 1954, at the Polo Grounds in New York

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cleveland (A) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 0
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: CLEAl Smith (1)    NYGDusty Rhodes (2)

Game 3

October 1, 1954, at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York (N) 1 0 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 6 10 1
Cleveland (A) 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 4 2
W: Rubén Gómez (1–0)  L: Mike Garcia (0–1)   S: Hoyt Wilhelm (1)
HR: CLEVic Wertz (1)

Game 4

October 2, 1954, at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York (N) 0 2 1 0 4 0 0 0 0 7 10 3
Cleveland (A) 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 0 0 4 6 2
W: Don Liddle (1–0)  L: Bob Lemon (0–2)   S: Johnny Antonelli (1)
HR: CLEHank Majeski (1)

Composite Box

1954 World Series (4–0): New York Giants (N.L.) over Cleveland Indians (A.L.)

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
New York Giants 1 2 6 0 7 1 1 0 0 3 21 33 7
Cleveland Indians 3 0 0 0 3 0 2 1 0 0 9 26 4
Total Attendance: 251,507   Average Attendance: 62,877
Winning Player's Share: – $11,118   Losing Player's Share – $6,713

Award winners

All-Star Game

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
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[5]

The 1954 Indianapolis Indians featured Herb Score and Rocky Colavito. Colavito hit 38 home runs and accumulated 116 RBIs.[6]

Notes

  1. ^ Perry, Dayn (August 13, 2015). "Blue Jays become first team since '54 Indians with two 11-game win streaks". CBSsports.com.
  2. ^ Dave Philley page at Baseball Reference
  3. ^ Hal Newhouser page at Baseball-Reference
  4. ^ Bob Chakales page at Baseball-Reference
  5. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007
  6. ^ Roger Maris: Baseball's Reluctant Hero, p.68, Tom Clavin and Danny Peary, Touchstone Books, Published by Simon & Schuster, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-1-4165-8928-0

References

External links

Art Houtteman

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.

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Postseason appearances (14)
Division championships (10)
American League pennants (6)
World Series championships (2)
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