There is a lot of history when it comes to the Indians. They started in 1901 and had a handful of nicknames. First, they were known as the Blues before changing their name to the Bronchos the following season. By '03, the team was known as the Naps before switching
There is a lot of history when it comes to the Indians. They started in 1901 and had a handful of nicknames. First, they were known as the Blues before changing their name to the Bronchos the following season. By '03, the team was known as the Naps before switching to the Indians in '15. They have kept that name ever since.
It was as the Indians that the team won two World Series titles in 1920 and ’48 and appeared in the postseason 14 times, most recently in 2018. Cleveland has had a lot of great players over the years, from righty Bob Feller and his blazing fastball to Francisco Lindor and his prolific bat.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s collection of more than 40,000 three-dimensional pieces contains artifacts that tell the story of the game’s legendary players, moments and triumphs. Beginning this summer and running through the end of 2020, the Hall of Fame will share some of those memorable artifacts through a new limited time experience: Starting Nine, which features nine artifacts from each of the 30 current MLB franchises. Whether you’ve visited before or you’ve always wanted to check it out, this is another great reason to plan a visit to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum -- the spiritual home of America’s Pastime in beautiful Cooperstown, N.Y.
1) That’s a first
Fun facts: On July 19, 1909, Cleveland shortstop Neal Ball completed the American League’s first unassisted triple play, commemorated by this diamond and pearl medal. Ball's play happened so abruptly that the fans, at first, did not understand what had happened. However, once the visiting Red Sox began taking the field, the crowd erupted with cheers.
2) Something’s missing
Fun facts: The 1933 Goudey baseball card set featured more than 200 players, but eagle-eyed collectors noticed there was no card No. 106. In '34, Goudey produced and mailed special cards of Cleveland great Napoleon Lajoie to appease those fans who had written in to complain, creating a unique story and a much-sought-after rarity.
3) Feller’s feat
Fun facts: On April 16, 1940, Indians right-hander Bob Feller threw this ball during his no-hitter against the White Sox. His 1-0, eight-strikeout victory remains the only Opening Day no-hitter thrown in Major League history.
4) The ring
Fun facts: Behind the pitching of Bob Lemon, the Indians earned this World Series championship ring after they defeated the Braves in six games in the 1948 Fall Classic. The dramatic, diamond-topped theatrical curtain set in onyx distinguishes this ring from others, before or since.
5) A special milestone
Fun facts: Indians legend Early Wynn pitched with this ball against the Kansas City Athletics on July 13, 1963, when he won his 300th career game. The nine-time All-Star played 10 years for the Tribe, winning at least 20 games in a season four times with them in the 1950s.
6) Frank’s jersey
Fun facts: Already the first AL team to sign an African-American player (Larry Doby), Cleveland made history again when it named Frank Robinson as the Majors' first black manager in 1975. A player-manager, Robinson wore this jersey on that historic Opening Day when he smashed a homer to help defeat the Yankees, 5-3.
7) Super Joe
Fun facts: In Cleveland's 1980 home opener, rookie Joe Charboneau singled, doubled and smashed a three-run homer before 61,753 fans. The electric, eccentric outfielder/DH then crafted a stellar season, hitting .289 with 23 homers and 87 RBIs and earning the AL Rookie of the Year Award. He even had a single called “Go Joe Charboneau,” which reached No. 3 on the Cleveland charts.
8) Home cookin’
Fun facts: Indians catcher Sandy Alomar used this bat in the 1997 All-Star Game to hit the game-winning home run, a two-run shot to left-center field. With Cleveland hosting that year, Alomar became the first player to win the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award while playing in his home ballpark.
9) The streak
Fun facts: Cleveland made 2017 a season to remember when it had a record-setting 22-game winning streak from Aug. 24-Sept. 14. Jay Bruce’s walk-off double secured that 22nd win, and he tagged this base afterward.
Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.