1948 Cleveland Indians season

1948 Cleveland Indians season

MLB yearly infobox-pre1969 alt‎
name = Cleveland Indians
season = 1948
misc = American League Champions
World Series Champions

current league = American League
y1 = 1901
Uniform logo =
ballpark = Cleveland Municipal Stadium
y4 = 1932
city = Cleveland, Ohio
y5 = 1901
owners = Bill Veeck
general manager = Bill Veeck
managers = Lou Boudreau
television = WEWS-TV
(Van Patrick)
radio = WJW
(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. [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]

atchel 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 now 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.


December 9, 1947: Catfish Metkovich was traded by the Cleveland Indians with $50,000 to the St. Louis Browns for Johnny Berardino. Catfish Metkovich returned to original teams on April 20, 1948. The Cleveland Indians sent $15,000 (April 20, 1948) to the St. Louis Browns to complete the trade. [http://www.baseball-reference.com/m/metkoca01.shtml Catfish Metkovich Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com ] ]

Regular Season

eason standings


*April 20, 1948: Catfish Metkovich was sent by the St. Louis Browns to the Cleveland Indians to complete an earlier deal made on December 9, 1947. The St. Louis Browns sent Johnny Berardino to the Cleveland Indians for Catfish Metkovich and $50,000. Catfish Metkovich returned to original teams on April 20, 1948. The Cleveland Indians sent $15,000 (April 20, 1948) to the St. Louis Browns to complete the trade. (Date given is approximate. Exact date is uncertain.)
*May 6, 1948: Catfish Metkovich was traded by the Cleveland Indians with Les Webber and cash to the Oakland (PCL) for Will Hafey (minors).
*July 7, 1948: Satchel Paige was signed as a Free Agent with the Cleveland Indians. [cite web|url=http://www.baseball-reference.com/p/paigesa01.shtml |title=Satchel Paige Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com |publisher=Baseball-reference.com |date= |accessdate=2008-09-06]


Starting pitchers

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)

Game 1

October 6, 1948 at Braves Field in Boston, MassachusettsLinescore
WP=Johnny Sain (1-0)|LP=Bob Feller (0-1)|SV=

Game 2

October 7, 1948 at Braves Field in Boston, MassachusettsLinescore
WP=Bob Lemon (1-0)|LP=Warren Spahn (0-1)|SV=

Game 3

October 8 at Cleveland Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, OhioLinescore
WP=Gene Bearden (1-0)|LP=Vern Bickford (0-1)|SV=

Game 4

October 9, 1948 at Cleveland Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, OhioLinescore
WP=Steve Gromek (1-0)|LP=Johnny Sain (1-1)|SV=
RoadHR=Marv Rickert (1)|HomeHR=Larry Doby (1)|HRH=|

Game 5

October 10, 1948 at Cleveland Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, OhioLinescore
WP=Warren Spahn (1-1)|LP=Bob Feller (0-2)|SV=
RoadHR=Bob Elliott 2 (2), Bill Salkeld (1)|HomeHR=Dale Mitchell (1), Jim Hegan (1)|HRH=yes|

Game 6

October 11, 1948 at Braves Field in Boston, MassachusettsLinescore
WP=Bob Lemon (2-0)|LP=Bill Voiselle (0-1)|SV=
RoadHR=Joe Gordon (1)|HomeHR=|HRH=yes|

Award Winners

* Lou Boudreau, American League MVP
*Lou Boudreau, Associated Press Athlete of the Year [ [http://www.nndb.com/honors/906/000166408/ Associated Press Athlete of the Year (male) ] ] All-Star Game
* Lou Boudreau, Shortstop, Starter
* Joe Gordon, Second Baseman, Starter
* Ken Keltner, Third Baseman, Starter
* Bob Feller, Pitcher, Reserve
* Bob Lemon, Pitcher, Reserve


* [http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CLE/1948.shtml 1948 Cleveland Indians team page at Baseball Reference]
* [http://baseball-almanac.com/teamstats/roster.php?y=1948&t=CLE 1948 Cleveland Indians team page at www.baseball-almanac.com]
* [http://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/1948_WS.shtml 1948 World Series page at Baseball Reference]

succession box
title = American League Champions
years = by|1948
before = New York Yankees
after = New York Yankees
succession box
title = World Series Champions
Cleveland Indians
years = by|1948
before = New York Yankees
after = New York Yankees

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