The 1949 Indians had an on-field 'funeral' to mark the death of their reign as champions
Baseball's ultimate showman, Bill Veeck was responsible for many of the 20th century's wackiest and most infamous promotions, from the dwarf pinch hitter to the exploding scoreboard to Disco Demolition Night.
His promotional shtick was well in place when he owned the Indians in the late 1940's, although the product on the field was usually more than successful enough to draw fans. In fact, the Tribe defeated the Boston Braves to win the '48 World Series behind the leadership of MVP player-manager Lou Boudreau.
'49 wasn't quite as kind -- the team won 89 games but finished in third place, out of the postseason. On the day they were mathematically eliminated from the pennant race, the team found a distinctly Veeckian way to mark the "death" of their repeat title hopes.
As the owner himself explained in his autobiography, Veeck as in Wreck:
Video of the event was uploaded to YouTube a few weeks ago within a newsreel that also documents the story of a Cleveland fan who sat atop a pole for 117 days trying to inspire the team. Yes, things were weird at Cleveland Municipal Stadium in 1949.