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definition - 1948_Cleveland_Indians_season

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1948 Cleveland Indians season

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1948 Cleveland Indians

American League Champions
World Series Champions
Major league affiliations
1948 Information
Owner(s)Bill Veeck
General Manager(s)Bill Veeck
Manager(s)Lou Boudreau
Local televisionWEWS-TV
(Van Patrick)
Local radioWJW
(Jack Graney, Jim Dudley)

The Cleveland Indians won their second World Series in franchise history. It was their first championship in 28 years. Lou Boudreau became the first shortstop in the history of the American League to win the MVP Award.[1]



Regular season

Season standings

American LeagueWLPct.GB
Cleveland Indians9758.626--
Boston Red Sox9659.6191
New York Yankees9460.6102.5
Philadelphia Athletics8470.54512.5
Detroit Tigers7876.50618.5
St. Louis Browns5994.38637
Washington Senators5697.36640
Chicago White Sox51101.33644.5

Notable transactions

Satchel Paige

The Indians made baseball history on July 9, 1948. In a game against the St. Louis Browns, Negro Leagues legend Satchel Paige entered the game. With the Browns beating the Indians 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning, manager Lou Boudreau pulled his starting pitcher, Bob Lemon.

Paige did not know the signs and Chuck Stevens lined a single into left field. Jerry Priddy bunted Stevens over to second. Next was Whitey Platt, and Paige threw an overhand server for a strike and one sidearm for another strike. Paige then threw his Hesitation Pitch which puzzled Platt and led him to throw his bat forty feet up the third base line. Browns manager Zack Taylor bolted from the dugout to talk to umpire Bill McGowan about the pitch. Taylor argued that it was a balk, but McGowan let it stand as a strike. Paige got Al Zarilla to fly out and the inning was over. In the next inning, Paige gave up a leadoff single. His catcher simplified his signals, and Paige got the next batter to hit into a double play. Larry Doby, the player who broke the American League’s color barrier, pinch hit for Paige the following inning.

Paige would get his first big league victory on July 15, 1948. This was accomplished the night after he pitched in an exhibition game against the Brooklyn Dodgers in front of 65,000 people in Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium. The victory came at Philadelphia’s Shibe Park. The Indians were up 5-3 with the bases loaded in the sixth inning of the second game of a double header. Paige got Eddie Joost to fly out to end the inning. Unfortunately, he gave up two runs the next inning when Ferris Fain doubled and Hank Majeski hit a home run. Paige buckled down and gave up only one more hit the rest of the game. He would get five of the next six outs on fly balls. Larry Doby and Ken Keltner would hit home runs in the ninth to give the Indians an 8-5 victory.

On August 3, 1948, the Indians were one game behind the Athletics. Boudreau started Paige against the Washington Senators in Cleveland. The 72,562 people that saw the game set a new attendance record for a major league night game. Paige showed his nervousness as he walked two of the first three batters and then gave up a triple to Bud Stewart to fall behind 2-0. By the seventh, the Indians were up 4-2 and held on to give Paige his second victory.

Paige’s next start was at Comiskey Park in Chicago. 51,013 people paid to see the game, but many thousands more stormed the turnstiles and crashed into the park, overwhelming the few dozen ticket-takers. Paige pitched a complete game and shut out the White Sox 5-0. He would prove that nine innings of pitching was not beyond his capabilities.

By August 20, 1948, the Indians were in a heated pennant race. Coming into the game against the White Sox, Bob Lemon, Gene Bearden and Sam Zoldak had thrown shutouts to run up a thirty-inning scoreless streak, eleven shy of the big league record. For the game against the White Sox, played in Cleveland, 78,382 people came to see Paige. This was a full 6,000 more people than the last time that the night attendance record was set. Paige went the distance again, giving up two singles and one double for his second consecutive three-hit shutout. Paige now had a 5-1 record and a low 1.33 ERA.

American League Playoff

At the end of the season, Cleveland and the Boston Red Sox were tied for first place. This led to the first-ever one-game playoff in the American League. The Indians defeated the Red Sox 8-3 in the 1948 playoff game. Knuckleballer Gene Bearden was given the start for the Indians. Red Sox manager Joe McCarthy picked former St. Louis Browns’ pitcher Denny Galehouse, who had an 8-7 pitching record.[9]

Ken Keltner contributed to the victory with his single, double, and 3-run homer over the Green Monster in Fenway Park in the 4th inning. The Indians moved on to the 1948 World Series against the Boston Braves. Later, McCarthy said he had no rested arms and that there was no else who could pitch.[9] Mel Parnell and Ellis Kinder claimed that they were both ready to pitch.[9]


1948 Cleveland Indians roster



Other batters



Player stats

= Indicates team leader


Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

CHegan, JimJim Hegan144472117.2481461
1BRobinson, EddieEddie Robinson134493125.2541683
2BGordon, JoeJoe Gordon144550154.28032124
3BKeltner, KenKen Keltner153558166.29731119
SSBoudreau, LouLou Boudreau152560199.35518106
OFMitchell, DaleDale Mitchell141608204.336456
OFDoby, LarryLarry Doby121439132.3011466
OFTucker, ThurmanThurman Tucker8324263.260119

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Berardino, JohnnyJohnny Berardino6614728.190210


Starting pitchers

Bearden, GeneGene Bearden37229.22072.4380

Other pitchers

Paige, SatchelSatchel Paige2172.2612.4843
Black, DonDon Black1852225.3716

Relief pitchers

Webber, LesLes Webber100040.501

World series

On October 9, 1948, a new World Series single game attendance record was set during Game 4. 81,897 fans packed Cleveland Stadium but one day later, that record was broken during Game 5. 86,288 fans attended the game.

Satchel Paige appeared in Game 5 for the Indians, becoming the first black pitcher to pitch a game in World Series history. He pitched for two-thirds of an inning in Game Two while the Indians were trailing the Boston Braves, giving up a sacrifice fly to Warren Spahn, got called for a balk and struck out Tommy Holmes.

AL Cleveland Indians (4) vs. NL Boston Braves (2)

1Boston 1, Cleveland 0October 640,135
2Cleveland 4, Boston 1October 739,633
3Cleveland 2, Boston 0October 870,306
4Cleveland 2, Boston 1October 981,897
5Boston 11, Cleveland 5October 1086,288
6Cleveland 4, Boston 3October 1140,103

Game 1

October 6, 1948 at Braves Field in Boston, Massachusetts

WP: Johnny Sain (1-0)  LP: Bob Feller (0-1)  

Game 2

October 7, 1948 at Braves Field in Boston, Massachusetts

WP: Bob Lemon (1-0)  LP: Warren Spahn (0-1)  

Game 3

October 8 at Cleveland Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio

WP: Gene Bearden (1-0)  LP: Vern Bickford (0-1)  

Game 4

October 9, 1948 at Cleveland Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio

WP: Steve Gromek (1-0)  LP: Johnny Sain (1-1)  
HRs:  BOS – Marv Rickert (1)  CLE – Larry Doby (1)

Game 5

October 10, 1948 at Cleveland Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio

WP: Warren Spahn (1-1)  LP: Bob Feller (0-2)  
HRs:  BOS – Bob Elliott 2 (2), Bill Salkeld (1)  CLE – Dale Mitchell (1), Jim Hegan (1)

Game 6

October 11, 1948 at Braves Field in Boston, Massachusetts

WP: Bob Lemon (2-0)  LP: Bill Voiselle (0-1)  
HRs:  CLE – Joe Gordon (1)

Awards and honors

All-Star Game

Farm system

AAABaltimore OriolesInternational LeagueAlphonse "Tommy" Thomas
AAOklahoma City IndiansTexas LeaguePat Ankenman
ADayton IndiansCentral LeagueJoe Vosmik
AWilkes-Barre BaronsEastern LeagueBill Norman
BHarrisburg SenatorsInterstate LeagueLes Bell
BMeridian PepsSoutheastern LeagueBen Geraghty and Jack Maupin
BSpartanburg PeachesTri-State LeagueKerby Farrell
CTucson CowboysArizona-Texas LeagueLloyd Brown
CBakersfield IndiansCalifornia LeagueHarry Griswold
CPittsfield ElectricsCanadian-American LeagueGene Hasson
CBurlington IndiansCentral AssociationPaul O'Dea, Oscar Melillo and Bruno Haas
DCordele IndiansGeorgia-Florida LeagueHal Lee
DMattoon IndiansIllinois State LeagueChuck Hawley
DUnion City GreyhoundsKITTY LeagueTony Rensa
DBloomingdale TroopersNorth Atlantic LeagueJim Jefferies and Stephen Kuk
DBatavia ClippersPONY LeagueGeorge Susce
DArdmore IndiansSooner State LeagueDon Smith and James Cooke
DGreen Bay Blue JaysWisconsin State LeagueRoxie Lawson, Walt Laskowski and Joe Dotlich

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Dayton, Union City[11]


  1. ^ Great Baseball Feats, Facts and Figures, 2008 Edition, p.152, David Nemec and Scott Flatow, A Signet Book, Penguin Group, New York, NY, ISBN 978-0-451-22363-0
  2. ^ Pete Milne page at Baseball Reference
  3. ^ a b c Catfish Metkovich page at Baseball Reference
  4. ^ Thurman Tucker page at Baseball Reference
  5. ^ Lee Wheat page at Baseball Reference
  6. ^ Bill Upton page at Baseball Reference
  7. ^ Sam Zoldak page at Baseball Reference
  8. ^ "Satchel Paige Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-reference.com. http://www.baseball-reference.com/p/paigesa01.shtml. Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  9. ^ a b c The Boston Red Sox, Milton Cole and Jim Kaplan, p.30, World Publications Group, North Dighton, MA, ISBN 1-57215-412-8
  10. ^ Associated Press Athlete of the Year (male)
  11. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 2007


Preceded by
New York Yankees
American League Champions
Succeeded by
New York Yankees
Preceded by
New York Yankees
World Series Champions
Cleveland Indians

Succeeded by
New York Yankees


All translations of 1948_Cleveland_Indians_season

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