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Indians' all-time retired numbers

MLB.com @MLBastian

CLEVELAND -- With more than a century's worth of history, the Indians have had a long list of stars. From the dead-ball era all the way to modern times, Cleveland's annals are filled with hard throwers, prolific sluggers and barrier breakers.

An exclusive list of players and managers have earned the right to have their jersey number retired by the Indians and put on display at the team's ballpark. Cleveland does not have any specific criteria for retiring a number, but instead examines careers on a case-by-case basis, with entry into the National Baseball Hall of Fame serving as a key component for consideration.

CLEVELAND -- With more than a century's worth of history, the Indians have had a long list of stars. From the dead-ball era all the way to modern times, Cleveland's annals are filled with hard throwers, prolific sluggers and barrier breakers.

An exclusive list of players and managers have earned the right to have their jersey number retired by the Indians and put on display at the team's ballpark. Cleveland does not have any specific criteria for retiring a number, but instead examines careers on a case-by-case basis, with entry into the National Baseball Hall of Fame serving as a key component for consideration.

Here are the numbers that have been honored by the franchise:

Earl Averill, OF: No. 3
Number retired: 1975
Averill's number was retired in the same year that he gained entry into the Hall of Fame. The outfielder spent 11 of his 13 Major League seasons with the Indians, from 1929-39, retiring as the franchise's all-time leader in runs (1,154), triples (121), RBIs (1,084), extra-base hits (724) and total bases (3,200). Averill (a six-time All-Star) was the first Indians player to have a three-homer game, and he is on a short list of Cleveland players to hit for the cycle.

Video: Indians Retired Number: No. 3, Earl Averill

Lou Boudreau, SS: No. 5
Number retired: 1970
Boudreau, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1970, suited up for Cleveland in 13 of his 15 seasons in the Major Leagues (1938-50). He served as a player-manager from 1942-50, leading the Indians to a World Series triumph in '48 and a 728-649 record while at the helm. Boudreau retired as the winningest manager in Indians history. He appeared in seven All-Star Games, won the American League MVP Award in '48 and ended his career in the Indians' top 10 for games, at-bats, hits, runs, doubles, RBIs and extra-base hits.

Video: NYY@CLE: Indians feature legend Boudreau's statue

Larry Doby, OF: No. 14
Number retired: 1994
Doby was signed to a Major League contract by the Indians on July 3, 1947, and appeared in his first MLB game two days later, breaking the color barrier in the AL. He went on to have a 13-year career, including 10 seasons with Cleveland (1947-55, '58). The outfielder was a key part of the '48 World Series team and was a seven-time All-Star. During the '48 Fall Classic, Doby led the team with a .318 batting average and hit a crucial home run in Game 4 against the Boston Braves. He ended his career batting .283 with 253 homers, 243 doubles, 970 RBIs and 960 runs scored. Doby was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998.

Video: MLB Tonight discusses Doby's legacy to baseball

Mel Harder, P: No. 18
Number retired: 1990
Harder played for Cleveland from 1928-47, with his 20 seasons in an Indians uniform marking the most by any player in franchise history. He retired with a 223-186 record and 3.80 ERA in 582 games. Harder, who made four All-Star teams, notched at least 20 wins twice and logged at least 200 innings in eight consecutive seasons from '32-39. He retired in the Indians' top 10 for innings, shutouts, wins, strikeouts and games. Following his playing career, Harder served as a pitching coach for Cleveland from 1948-63.

Video: Indians Retired Number: No. 18, Mel Harder

Bob Feller, P: No. 19
Number retired: 1957
Feller, who is regarded as the greatest pitcher in Indians history, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962. "Rapid Robert" signed with the Tribe at 17 years old out of Van Meter, Iowa, in '36 and spent 18 seasons in the Majors from '36-56. Feller missed three seasons in the prime of his career, from '42-44, while serving in the Navy during World War II. He was an eight-time All-Star, won at least 20 games six times and tossed three no-hitters, including one on Opening Day in 1940 against the White Sox. The right-hander led the Majors in strikeouts seven times and set a single-season record with 348 punchouts in 1946. He retired as Cleveland's all-time leader in wins (266), shutouts (44), innings (3,827) and strikeouts (2,581).

Video: Revisiting the only Opening Day no-no in MLB history

Frank Robinson, OF/MGR: No. 20
Number retired: 2017
Robinson concluded his 21-year, Hall of Fame playing career with three seasons in Cleveland from 1974-76. He served as a player-manager in '75-76 and continued to guide the Tribe from the manager's chair in '77. In doing so, Robinson became the first African-American manager in Major League history. In his big league career overall, Robinson made 14 All-Star teams, won two World Series, two MVPs and belted 586 homers in stints with the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He also went on to manage the Giants (1981-84), Orioles (1988-91) and Expos/Nationals (2002-06). Robinson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982.

Video: KC@CLE: Indians honor Frank Robinson in Cleveland

Bob Lemon, P: No. 21
Number retired: 1998
Lemon spent the entirety of his 15-year Major League career with Cleveland from 1941-58, gaining entry into the Hall of Fame in 1976. After serving in the Navy in World War II, Lemon transitioned to pitching and became one of the dominant arms of his era, winning 20 or more games seven times (a club record). He was a key piece to the 1948 World Series staff, going 20-14 with a 2.82 ERA and leading the AL in complete games (20), shutouts (10) and innings (293 2/3). He then went 2-0 with a 1.65 ERA in two World Series starts. Lemon (a seven-time All-Star) ranks among the franchise's all-time greats in wins (207), innings (2,850), strikeouts (1,277), starts (350) and shutouts (31).

Video: Indians Retired Number: No. 21, Bob Lemon

Jim Thome, 1B: No. 25
Number retired: 2018
Thome spent parts of 13 seasons (1991-2002, 2011) with the Indians as part of a 22-year Major League career, which also featured tours with the Phillies, White Sox, Twins, Orioles and Dodgers. Thome retired as Cleveland's all-time leader in home runs (337) and walks (1,008), while ranking in the club's top 10 in on-base percentage (.414), slugging percentage (.566), OPS (.980), runs (928), RBIs (937), doubles (263) and total bases (2,667). A five-time All-Star, Thome was a key member of Cleveland's dominant 1990s teams, which won five consecutive division crowns to close out the decade and captured two AL pennants (1995 and '97). He ended his career with 612 home runs and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.

Video: Thome thrilled to be inducted into Hall of Fame

Note: On April 15, 1997, the Indians joined every team in MLB by retiring No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.

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