Monday, January 28, 2008

Buy shares in a future Triber!

This link comes from Joe at Cincy Reds Cards (among other card-related blogs):

Randy Newsom, a minor league reliever for the Indians affiliate Aeros, is selling shares in his future as a Tribe member (or any other MLB team, really). For $20 a share, you can invest in this player, helping him offset his bills while he hones his skills. According to "The Enquirer," he would have to make $1.2 million a year before you would get your $20 back (and really, after fees, it's closer to $25) for each share. There are only so many share to go around, too. He is the first player to actually sell shares of himself, but this could be something that takes off.

I bit the bullet and bought a couple. I figure, the worst that can happen is I buy the guy a tank of gas...

More info can be found at and the original article from "The Enquirer" is HERE.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Indians Uniform Number - 4 (Part 1 of 3)

There are about 30 players who have worn the Number 4 jersey. Because the list is SO long, I decided to break it up into manageable chunks! Each post will feature approximately 10 players, some of whom you've seen before (yes, already we have 'repeat' performers). As I did with the #3 players, I will save my final decision until after all players have had a chance to grow on you (some like heroes, some more like a fungus).

So, without further delay, I present the first set of #4's:

Bill Cissell - 2 seasons (1932-1933) - Cissell came to the Tribe after playing 5 seasons with the White Sox. He played in 131 games his first year, grabbing 78 runs, 173 hits, 35 doubles, six triples and six homers. He only struck out 25 times and scored 93 RBIs, netting him a 320 batting average. The next year, he played in 19 fewer games and his average fell to .230, though he still smacked in 6 homers and struck out only 29 times.

Bill Knickerbocker - 4 seasons (1933-1936) - The name alone should garner this guy extra points! He came into the majors with Cleveland, batting .226 his first year. The next year, he batted a career-high .317 with 188 hits in 146 games. In 1935, he "fell" to .298 and then to .294 before the Tribe traded him off in 1937. In his last year as a Triber, he stood at the plate 618 times! 618 times and still managed to keep a .294!? (81 runs, 182 hits, 35 doubles, and 73 RBIs)

Bill Sudakis - Part of 1 season (1975) - "Suds" (as he was called) basically sucked. It was not entirely his own fault, though. His talent was masked by the fact that he spent much of his MLB career battling knee problems. Honestly, it's a wonder he lasted 8 seasons in the majors. His biggest plus was that he could switch-hit and play at either in-field corner. He played 20 games for the Tribe and managed to scrape together a .196 average.

Bob Nieman - Parts of two seasons (1961-1961) - In 1951, he broke into the majors by hitting his first two at-bats for home runs at Fenway park (the first MLB player to do so ever). 10 years later, he played in 39 games for the Indians, ringing up a .354 average (65 at-bats for 2 runs, 23 hits, 6 doubles, and 2 homers (10 total RBIs) while striking out only 4 times! Unfortunately, the next year, he played in only 2 games. Now, he only had one at-bat, but managed to snag an RBI *AND* strike out at the same time. I guess if you have to walk away with a .000 avg, it's nice to have an RBI to go with it...

Brian Dorsett - 1 season (1987) - The Fleer card shown is from He only played in 5 games for the Indians (and only 163 games in his entire career). He had 11 at-bats, scoring 2 runs with 3 hits, a homer, 3 RBIs and 3 strikeouts. He left the Tribe batting .273, which we have seen is better than a bunch...

David Bell - parts of 2 seasons (1995,1998) - For starters, he shares his name with two other "David Bells" - an alleged ghost of Bell House in Georgia, and former Triber David (better known as BUDDY) Bell. He began his MLB career with the Indians by stepping up to the plate twice and getting nowhere fast (goose-egg average). The Tribe traded him to the Cardinals, and in 1998, they picked him back up again. This time, he batted 340 times for 37 runs, 89 hits, 21 doubles, two triples, and 10 home runs. He scored 41 RBIs and struck out 54 times. The Tribe sent his .262 average to the Mariners later that season.

Domingo Ramos - Part of 1 season (1988) - Ramos played in 22 games as a Triber. Despite pulling a .261 (which in the 80's was probably nothing short of a miracle for the Indians), he was released that same year.

Gene Desautels - 4 seasons (1941-43, '45) - He served as backup catcher, but still batted in 60+ games from '41-'43. In 1944, he enlisted in the Marines and in July, 1945, he rejoined the Tribe, though he only played in 10 games that year. He managed a paltry .111 average in '45, which was way off from his previous .201, .247, and .205 (respectively).

George Strickland - Appeared in our 'countdown' previously wearing the #3 uniform. For the sake of argument, his #4-wearing days produced his 2nd highest (.238) and second lowest (.167) averages in his career. That has nothing to do with the selection process for me, but I thought it was a neat tidbit I hadn't looked at before. For those of who may have slept a little since I posted his stats in the Uni-#3 segment, here are Strickland's Tribe stats: 7+ seasons (1952-1960) - Strickland's best seasonal average came in 1953 (.284) and the next year, he helped the Tribe get to the World Series. Not really a power hitter, he provided consistency during his career. He averaged 28 runs, 61 hits, and 2.75 homers per season with Cleveland. His long career with the Indians continued after he was released as he served as acting manager for an ailing Birdie Tebbetts.

Houston Jimenez - Part of one season (1988) - He batted in only 9 games, going 1 for 21. At least his one hit was a home run. But with such disappointing output (we're talking a .048 avg here), the Tribe let him go. Of course, you would think the Tribe might have clued in to the fact that in the previous year, he went 0 for 6 in five games with the Pirates. Then again, this was the Tribe of the 80's... Ouch.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Indians Uniform Number - 3 Earl Averill

I know that the choice for all-time Indian with a #3 on his jersey may have seemed pretty cut and dry, but there were at least two other players that could have taken the top spot. Plus, this list boasts not one, but TWO names cursed with innuendo in the vein of Rusty Kuntz (no pun intended):

Bob Rothel - Part of one season (1945) - Rothel had a career total of 10 at-bats in 4 games, all with the Tribe. He got 2 hits and was walked 3 times, which kept his avg down to .200 but gave him an OBP of .385 - an interesting contrast in statistics.

Dale Mitchell - 11 seasons (1946-1956) - As I have documented on here, Dale Mitchell was the first card I ever paid money for. The picture is from my collection and you can read the story by reading my first post on here ever! :-) In college, Mitchell set the OK Sooner records for career avg (.467) and for senior-year avg (.507). In his rookie year, he played in only 11 games while racking up a .432 avg (without any triples or homers, no less). Throughout his Indians career, he had SEVEN seasons with .300+ averages, and never struck out more than 21 times in any season. In fact, he struck out only 116 times for 3,960 at-bats (that's only 3%!). He appeared in two all-star games (1949, 1952) and two World Series' as an Indian (1948,1954). Never a big home-run hitter, Mitchell was more of a line-drive, "Git R done" kinda guy, posting five seasons with 20+ doubles, and five 55-plus RBI seasons. He would have most likely grabbed up the honors for All-Time Uniform #3 had Earl Averill not played for the Tribe.

Dutch Meyer - 2 seasons (1945-46) - Meyer came to the Indians after being discharged from service. He played in 130 games with 524 at-bats, bringing a .292 average by the end of the season. During '45, he had 153 hits, 29 doubles, 8 triples, and knocked in 7 home runs. This guy was ready to play some ball after serving his country. In '46, he played in 72 games and his average fell to .232. The Indians traded him to the Yanks.

Earl Averill - 10+ Seasons (1929-part of 1939) - Averill came into the majors when he was 27 years old. In his time with the Tribe, only three seasons did he hit below .300 (1935, 1937, 1939). And even in 1937, he hit .299. He still holds Tribe all-time records for total bases (2401 not counting walks, 3126 with walks), runs batted in (1084), runs (1154), and triples (121). Add in his 3rd all-time Tribe leader in hits and doubles. Then, for good measure, top it off with the 4th place team record holder in home runs and walks. For dessert, let's toss in 6 All-Star appearances, including one in which he smacked a ball off Dizzy Dean's toe, breaking it. He was inducted into the HOF in 1975, and the Indians retired his jersey number that same year.

Eddie Robinson - 2 full seasons and 3 partial seasons (1942, '46-'48, '57) - He played in 8 games each for his first two seasons with the Indians. In '47, he hit 14 homers and brought in 52 total RBIs. He then went on to help the Tribe win the World Series in '48 after batting in 83 RBIs and 125 hits in 134 games. He is most notoriously known for not lending Larry Doby his first baseman's mitt (according to snopes and other Internet sources). In '57, he played for three teams (Tiger, Indians, Orioles) but his best run during that time was during his 19 games in Cleveland (batting .222 versus batting .000 for the other two teams).

George Strickland - 7+ seasons (1952-1960) - Strickland's best seasonal average came in 1953 (.284) and the next year, he helped the Tribe get to the World Series. Not really a power hitter, he provided consistency during his career. He averaged 28 runs, 61 hits, and 2.75 homers per season with Cleveland. His long career with the Indians continued after he was released as he served as acting manager for an ailing Birdie Tebbetts. Another contender, had Averill skipped the Tribe.

Lyman Linde - 2 seasons (1947-48) - In 1947, Linde pitched in ONE game, and managed to accrue a 26.99 ERA. Yes, you read that correctly - Twenty-six point nine-nine. Ouch. Comparatively speaking, his follow-up season's 5.40 ERA actually looked amazing. He never batted in 1947, and in '48, he batted twice. Anyone care to guess his avg? Yeap, goose-egg... I could not find a picture of him, though I am not really surprised.

Mickey Vernon - 3 seasons (1949-'50, '58) - Vernon batted .291 in his first year with the Tribe, hitting 18 homers, getting 170 hits, 27 doubles, and 83 RBIs. In his next season, he dropped to 90 at-bats with 17 hits, watching his average drop to .189. In his return to the Tribe in 1958, he got 49 runs on 104 hits while bringing in 55 RBIs. His .293 avg netted him a place on the '58 AL all-star team.

Rusty Peters - 6 seasons (1940-1946) - His name can't help but invoke that of another player with an oxidized sexual reference. Ironically (given his name), he played as an all-round utility player. All innuendo aside, Peters' average hovered near or just above the .220 mark during his time with the Tribe. During his 6 seasons with Cleveland, he averaged about a 10% hit-bats ratio (except in '46, where he had no hits for 21 at-bats).

Woodie Held - 6+ seasons (part 1958-1964) - Another innuendo-related name graces the #3 uniform for the Tribe. Throughout his Indians career, Held batted near or above .240 each season except his first. During his tenure, he posted 4 seasons at 100+ hits and 3 with 80+. He also posted double-digit doubles every season except his first. Same holds true for homers (3 of which were 20+). The downside is that he also managed to post 100+ strikeouts for 3 seasons. Still, an all-around trooper.

Indians Uniform Number - 2 Luke Sewell

Picking the All-Time player in a #2 uniform was tough. If Peralta, who once said that every other "Johnny" spelled THEIR names incorrectly, can keep posting numbers like he has, I have a feeling he may very well earn his way to the top of the list. I know there will be people who are going to disagree with my choice, regardless of which player I select, but I have to give the nod to Luke Sewell. Here, we have a player who ended his first season as a .000 and stayed around long enough to have a great stolen base record, incredible strikeout (or lack thereof) record, and play 20 seasons as an ACTIVE catcher (and we all know stories of catchers burning out knees, etc). (Read Uniform 2, Part 1) (Read Uniform 2, Part 2)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

On the last day of the giveaway...

My sincere apologies to David A in Ohio, who has waited so very patiently for his Tribecards 12 Days Giveaway pack. When I set out to do the gift packs, of course, the goal was delivery by Christmas, but the response was so awesome, time quickly got away. And then, I came to the request for an All-Cleveland version. The Browns and the Buckeyes were pretty easy to fill (as I did not have many to begin with, you understand). But, filling out the rest of the gift pack with Indians proved to be more difficult than I had thought. It was not for lack of cards (I have tons), but rather how to select cards from the mass of duplicates I have on hand! Unlike some of the other giveaways, I have a huge surplus of cards to choose from when it comes to the Tribe.

Do I include the HOFers (Feller, Lajoie, Eckersley, etc)? Do I go for the players I watched as a kid (Jacoby, Charboneau, Thornton, etc)? What about some of the great all-time Tribers (Carter, Vizquel, Alomar, etc)? And, should I throw in current players (Hafner, Martinez, Sabathia, etc)?

I began by jotting down the players that came to my mind first and foremost (Feller, Doby, Belle, Barker, Charboneau, Thome, Sizemore, Lofton, Hafner, Young, Lajoie, Robinson, Buddy Bell, etc etc). For the record, that happens to be the order in which they popped into my head (who knows why!). Of course, as I was rifling through the cards, I would invariably find additional players that I thought should be included. As you can see, I soon had a list of players that could fulfill several "12 Days" gift packs, and as I sorted through the cards, I found myself hard-pressed to select "only" 12 of any given player, let alone go through the pain of selecting the final 3, 2, and 1 day of Christmas. Of course, no matter which players were chosen to be included, it meant leaving other 'pack worthy' players behind.

But, in the end, I created a smorgasbord of players - some current, some recent (and not-so-recent) past, some classics. Basically, I followed my gut. And, seeing as how this is the last gift pack going out for the 2007 holiday season, I am going to leave the whole package as a surprise!

Indians Uniform Number - 2 (Part 2)

Today, I present the second half of the #2-wearing players! I have to say that even though there are plenty of players that do not even come close to rising to the top, there are also a few that had to duke it out in order for me to reach my "All-Time" Uniform Number 2 player. I will post my choice on Thursday, giving time to let you digest the entire field of candidates! I know, I'm a stinker, aren't I?

The 2nd half of the Uniform Number 2 players:

Jose Hernandez - 2 seasons (1992,2005) - Hernandez only wore the #2 in 1992, but like many Tribers, he wore different jersey numbers during his time with the Indians. To be honest, I haven't given much thought to what I am going to do about that for the purposes of this list. Guess we'll see! Regardless, Hernandez managed to play only 2 seasons with the Indians, and at the same time covered a 13-year span. That should probably win him something, but that's a whole different list. In '92, had 4 at-bats in three games, striking out twice. His average? .000. He moved on to the Cubs, Braves, Brewers, Pirates, Rockies, back to the Cubs, then to the Dodgers before coming back to the Indians. He fared better this time around (2005) with 54 hits, 6 homers, and 31 RBI's (avg: .231).

Ken Aspromonte - 3 years (1960,61-62) - Aspromonte came to the Tribe in 1960 from the Senators. After playing 117 games, he went to the Angels as part of the expansion draft, and then he came back to the Tribe the next season. He batted .290 in his first year with the Indians (probably why the Angels snapped him up) with 133 hits and 48 RBIs. He batted .223 with the Angels (probably why they optioned him) and came back to bat only .229 and then finish his time as a Triber with a paltry .143. After his playing career, he came back to manage the Indians from 1972-74.

Lou Klein - Part of 1 season (1951) - Klein started out with the Cardinals in 1943 and then in 1946, he and several other MLB players left to play in the Mexican League. Because of this, the players were banned from the MLB for five years. Turns out the ban was lifted in 1949 and Klein returned to the MLB. The Tribe picked him up in '51, where he played in a whopping two games before he was passed on to the Athletics. Guess the Tribe was not too happy with his zero average.

Luke Sewell - 13 seasons (1921-1932, 1939) - Sewell entered the major leagues with the Indians, playing in 3 games and amassing a .000 average. Unlike other Indians who had accomplished the same feat, the Tribe stuck with Sewell. Sewell was not a full-timer until 1926, and he came out swinging - 103 hits, 46 RBIs, but no homers, netting him a .238 avg. The next year, he smacked for a .294 avg with 53 RBIs, 138 hits, 27 doubles and six triples. One of his greatest accomplishments came due to his ability to keep strikeouts to a minimum. In fact, he never struck out more than 27 times in any one season, even with 430+ at-bats in several! He was also very dangerous on the base-path. His LOWEST percentage for the Tribe was .333 whenever he tried to steal. In fact, the only .000 stolen base seasons (with the Tribe) were the ones where he did not even ATTEMPT a steal. His overall stolen base average is just under .500 whenever he attempted to steal during his Indians career, and he had several seasons in which he was attempting 10 or more steals per season. He holds the MLB record for playing 20 seasons as an active catcher.

Marlan Coughtry - Part of one season (1962) - Coughtry (not to be confused with Daughtry) spent 1962 bouncing through the Angels and Athletics before landing in Cleveland. He played in 3 games, had 2 at-bats, and finished his major league career with a .500 avg. Even with only 2 appearances at the plate, he's had a better run with the Tribe than several of the players we've seen so far...

Matt Merullo - 1 season (1994) - Matt played in 4 games, batted 10 times, and got one (yes, count it) one hit. He left the Indians with a .100 average. There's just not much more you can add to that.

Rafael Santana - 1 season (1990) - Until this project, I don't think I knew that Santana had played for the Indians. He played in 7 games, hit one homer, and ended up with a .231 avg. Well, at least he got to finish his MLB career with guys he played with in his Mets days: Keith Hernandez, Jesse Orosco, and Stan Jefferson.

Randy Jackson - parts of 2 seasons (1958-59) - This former Razorback spent time with the Cubs and Dodgers before spending a little time in a Tribe uniform. In 1958, he played in 29 games with 22 hits, 3 doubles, a triple, and four homers for an avg of .242. The next year, he went back to the Cubs after only 3 games, where he netted only one hit for a dismal .143 avg.

Ray Mack - 8 seasons (1938-1946) - Went from a horrid .152 avg in 1939 to all-star player the next year (.283 average, 12 homers, 5 triples, 21 doubles, and 150 hits). He and Lou Boudreau connected for 109 double plays that year, and he racked up 597 double plays during his career. He is also credited with saving Bob Feller's rear-end at the 1940 opening day no-hitter following a diving catch. After his .283 season, he settled into a roughly .230 average for the rest of his Indians career.

Roy Weatherly - 7 seasons (1936-1942) - Weatherly "stormed" onto the scene in 1936 with 117 hits, 28 doubles, 6 triples, and 8 homers for a rookie-year average of .335 in 84 games! He had a couple more .300+ seasons and every season he played (except 1937, his 2nd year no less!), he batted 250+. In 1940, he knocked 175 hits, 35 doubles, 11 triples, and 12 homers all resulting in a total of 59 RBIs for the season, netting him a 303 average.

Sandy Martinez - part of one season (2004) - Martinez played in one game as a Triber, and stood at the plate twice. He struck out once and did not get on base the other time, leaving the Indians with yet another uniform number 2 player with a 000 average. He was sold to the Red Sox in '04 where he happened to be on the Sox World Series team.

Steve Springer - part of one season (1990) - In four games with the Tribe, Springer struck out six times, but did get two hits, one of which was an RBI. He left Cleveland with a .167 average. He went on to write several books about sports, and is a player-agent for a company called GAAMES. The only image I could find of him in a Cleveland outfit is copyrighted, so you can find it here: All images used are the copyright of their respective owners, his is the only one that had the anti-save javascript invoked...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Indians Uniform Number - 2 (Part 1)

There are 30 Indians players that have worn the number 2 since uniform numbers were put into place in the late 1930's. I decided to post the first half of the list here, and then I'll post the second half and announce my choice for the best player to wear #2 on his jersey. Enjoy "Number 2, Act 1:"

 Al Cihocki - 1 Season (1945) - Cihocki, who played as a utility infielder, batted for a .212 average in his year with the Indians. One of the most confusing things I found was that he seems to have no official stats for playing with the Orioles, yet many sites ONLY picture him in an Orioles uniform. Perhaps Kevin might be able to shed some light?

 Alex Cole - 2.5 seasons (1990-part of 1992) - He started out promising - a .300 rookie year followed by a .295 2nd year. He also posted .379 and .386 on-base percentage, respectively. In 1992, however, the wheels seemed to have come off and he was traded away to Pittsburgh.

 Ben Chapman - 2 Years (1939-1940) - Chapman came from the Red Sox after he hit a .340 average (his career best). With high hopes, Cleveland hit for .290 and then .286. The Indians decided they didn't want him anymore, so they sent him to Washington.

 Bob Seeds - 4 seasons (1930-1932, 1934) - Seeds batted .285 and .306 in his first two seasons with the Tribe. In 1932, he played only two games and went 0 for 4 and was then traded to the White Sox. After then being traded to the Red Sox, Seeds returned to Cleveland in 1934, where he batted .247. The card images I found of him show him in Red Sox, Yankees, or Giants uniforms. I am going to look hard for a Play Ball or similar of Seeds on a Cleveland card, and hopefully find one to post here.

 Boze Berger - 3 Seasons (1932-1936) - Berger, despite having a cool-sounding baseball name, had a rather dismal career with the Tribe. In '32, he batted in only game game for one at-bat and struck out. The next season, he managed to bat for .258, but followed that up with a .173 the next year. When I saw this Berger card up for grabs on eBay, I snagged it right away!

 Brett Butler - 4 Seasons (1984-87) - Butler came to the Tribe with Brook Jacoby (not bad company!). As far as Tribers sporting #2, he batted very well throughout his time with the Indians (.269, .311, .278, .295). One of his claims to fame includes being the first player EVER to face Roger Clemens (1984). His 1985 .311 average turned out to his career high. In addition to his .269+ yearly averages, he also boasted a .350+ OBP each year with the Tribe (whacking a .399 OBP in 1987). Ten years after leaving the Tribe, he would write a book ("Field of Hope") about his life in baseball and his battle with a rare throat (tonsil-related) cancer.

 Buddy Rosar - two seasons (1943-44) - Rosar batted .283 and .263 in the two years he played with the Tribe. He batted consistently, nailing a .340 and a .339 OBP. Unfortunately, I did not find much about his overall career, let alone his time with Cleveland. The image I found is of a trimmed W603, signed "Baseballically Yours." Nothing like a guy who can coin his own term...

 Dick Porter - 6 Seasons (1929-1934) - Porter somehow managed to keep himself in the minors for many years, smacking .300+ seasons consistently before the Indians were finally able to grab his MLB contract. For the first four years of his career, he knocked .308+ per year avergaes while also boasting .373+ OBPs each year. I read that he was given the name "Twitchy" because he flicked his bat constantly while waiting for the pitcher to throw the ball. In addition to knocking the ball around, he was able to pull two .500 stolen base seasons (1930, 1933) and when he wasn't stealing for .500, he still managed .375, .400, and .333 (1929, 1931, 1932). The image comes from another eBay find (I snagged it up quickly, too).

 Doug Hansen - 1 season (1951) - Though Hansen played in only one game for three at-bats, he managed to score two runs. He did this without a single at-bat, to boot. He had been called in to pinch run on three occasions, getting left on the bag once. Despite his very brief career, there is a VERY extensive write up about him on the Baseball Biography Project.

 Eddie Bockman - 1 season (1947) - Bockman played in fewer than 50 games for Cleveland, hitting .258. Much of the information I found about him was related more to his appearance in the Pacific Coast League All-Star games with the likes of Bob Feller and Satchell Paige.

 Einar Diaz - 7 seasons (1996-2002) - Diaz came to the Bigs in order to serve as back-up to Sandy Alomar Jr (seems to have been a popular career choice for several catchers during Alomar's rein in Cleveland). In his 7 seasons, he saw his career rise, peak, and fall again, with a first-season avg of .000 to a peak of .281 (his overall career high) and come back down to a still respectable .272 (for this group, anyway). Yes, Dodger fans will say, "But in 2006, he batted .667!" True, he went 2 for 3 in the three at-bats in as many games that he had - nothing to sneeze at, but nothing to make a career over, either. For the players that have sported the number 2, he has one of the longest careers as a Triber and has good all-around stats to go with it.

 Gee Walker - 1 season (1941) - Best known for his days as a Tiger, Gee played for the Tribe for only season, racking up 48 RBIs, a .283 average and a .313 OBP. He hit 26 doubles, 11 triples, and 6 homers. Not too shabby!

 George Strickland - 8 seasons (1952-1960) - Strickland came to the Tribe after playing a few years with Pittsburgh. He was a member of the '54 Tribe World Series team. He mainly played Shortstop, though he also covered 2nd and 3rd bases throughout his career. His beast seasonal average came in 1953 (.284) and he never broke .240 at any other time in his career. Following his Indians playing career, he also served as their manager in the mid/late 60's.

 Hugh Alexander - 1 season (1937) - Alexander was 19 years old when he signed on with the Tribe to play in the Bigs. He lasted 7 games, had 11 at-bats, got 1 hit and struck out 5 times. He was released and became a scout instead.

 Jack Kubiszyn - 2 seasons (1961-62) - Kubiszyn, whose career ended before his name could catch on, played in 25 games each year with the Tribe. His 2 seasons with Cleveland also marked the length of his baseball career. He averaged 214 the first year and fell off to 164 during his second. In his 50-game stint in the Bigs netted him 1 home run.

 Jhonny Peralta - 5 seasons so far (2003-2007) - Peralta came in to fill the Shortstop position when Omar Vizquel was injured. In 77 games, he hit .227 and 4 home runs. In 2005, he took over full-time at Shortstop after Vizquel was traded. Peralta stepped up, knocking 24 home runs and batting .292, which set the Indians record for a shortstop. Each year since 2005, he has hit for at least .257 with 65+ RBI's.

 John Kroner - 2 seasons (1937-38) - The Indians snagged Kroner after he had hit 62 RBIs and a .292 average for the Red Sox. His first years with the Tribe, Kroner hit 26 RBIs and had a .237 average. In 1938, he upped his average to .248, despite dropping his RBIs to 17.

 Johnny Berardino - 4 seasons (1948-1950, 1952) - For the most part, Berardino's batting average hovered around .200 throughout his Cleveland career. The main exception to this rule is his .400 in 1950 - a year in which he played in 4 games (1 run, 2 hits, 3 RBIs). Though his MLB career flundered, he made a slew of B-movies before landing the role of Dr. Steve Hardy on "General Hospital." He played Dr. Hardy from 1963-1996. He also garnered a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sam Horn Scan

A big THANK YOU goes out to Kevin who sent me a scan of Sam Horn in a Tribe uni! This card is from the '94 Score set:

Stay tuned, Uniform #2 will be here soon!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A quick note

I am man enough to admit when I set certain goals a tad loftier than realistically possible. Such is the case with the Uniform Numbers saga. I originally planned to try and post a new number every day, but as I am trying to be as thorough as possible, it is taking longer than a day (with work, wife, kids, life, etc) to get these up and going.

Don't fret, though! I am on the case and I will keep posting them as I complete each of the jersey numbers. Meanwhile, between jersey posts, I'll still be posting scans of cards, working on the final "12 days" pack, and offering general Tribe-related insights! It's all good!

Speaking of Tribe-related insights, I noticed there is a LOT of discussion as what to call Progressive Field's new nickname. Some people suggested "The Prog" or "The Sive" but, really, that's just not right. I also read that "Progressive Park" was already copyrighted/trademarked, and that is why it had to stay Progressive FIELD - in case you are ever on "1 vs 100" and that's the question that comes up... My favorite suggestion thus far, though? "The Field Formerly Known as Jacobs" heh-heh, there are some twisted Tribe fans out there!

Indians Uniform Number - 1 Bobby Avila

Choosing the best player in the #1 jersey proved to be laborious, though not terribly difficult. I guess many people like the idea of wearing that #1 on their back, but so few people (as far as the Tribe goes, anyway) could live up to the pedestal of such a prestigious number. As you will see, only one player stands above the rest in terms of longevity and skill. He is Bobby Avila. Here are the nominees (sorted by first name - don't ask!):

Billy Martin - 1 year - .260 avg, but I discovered a little gem from about Martin: "Billy Martin was a beautiful man," Corrado says. "He was in-between jobs one time, and he came in with the Yankees. Two little kids came by, they were about 12-years-old. And they say, 'Hey usher, we want to talk to Billy Martin.' "I went up and got Billy Martin, told him, 'Two little kids want to talk to you.'" Martin came right down to talk to the kids. "He came down, talked to those two little kids, put his arms around them, made them feel like a million dollars," Corrado says. "I walked up the ramp with him, and I said, 'Billy, that was great of you to talk to those kids.' "He says, 'Remember this: These are our future fans.'" Even so, his picture here suggests, "You have no idea just how much dirt I am going to kick up in my lifetime..."

Bobby Avila - 10 years - 1951 .304/.374/.410, 1954 - .341/.402/.477 He was an AL All-Star in '52, '54, and '55. In the '52 All-Star Game, he batted 1 for 2 and then in '54, his return visit netted him 3 for 3. He also took part in the '54 Indians World Series win, though he only batted a pitiful .133 - ouch. Still, the fact that he has incredible longevity, made multiple all-star appearances, and a World Series win under his belt, Avila gets the honor of being chosen as the best #1 in Tribe history!

Casey Blake - 5 years so far - Better than .250 avg four of those years, pulling near (or more than) 20 HRs each season while playing in several positions. He has the potential to be a great Triber, if they keep him around long enough.

Del Unser - 1 year (1972) - .238 avg with 1 homer. As far as the Tribe goes, I found very little about him. Overall, his brief appearance in an Indians uniform was about average for his career - he had some better years, and some worse years. But, whose idea was it to take a picture up the guy's nose?

Don Ross - 2 years (1945-46) - He was traded for fellow #1-wearer Roy Cullenbine in 1946. At least his average was more than .260 during his trip through the clubhouse, which thus far seems to be rare for the guys wearing #1... His card shown here is a Play Ball reprint.

Glenallen Hill - almost 2 seasons (1992 and part 1993) - He has the dubious of honor of recently being named in the illicit steroid debacle. That, however, is not what keeps him from being named the best #1. Rather, like many of the folks on this list, he just wasn't all that good while with the Tribe. I find it interesting that in 1993, he hit 18 homers, yet only showed a .224 average.

Jerry Kindall - 2 years (1963-64) - Kindall played 2B and SS during his stint in Cleveland. In '62, played in 154 games and had 123 hits. Nothing earth-shattering, but at least that's almost a hit per game. According to Wikipedia, "No one since 1920 with at least 2000 at-bats has a lower career batting average than Kindall's .213, but he did have above average power for a second baseman."

Jimmy Wasdell - almost 2 years (1946-47) - His first season as an Indian, Wasdell batted only 41 times (he was picked up from the Phillies, where he had played 51 games) and pulled his career average (or close enough) 268. In '47, however, he only had one at-bat and go nowhere fast, resulting in a 000 average. Makes you wish you just hadn't even bothered to show up. In fact, this auto'd picture (I could not find him in a Tribe uni) for sale online seems to suggest that very thought.

Johnny Burnett - 8 seasons (1927-1934) - Based on average alone, his best season was 1928 in which he batted 500. Then again, he only batted in 3 games that year for 10 at-bats. Nevertheless, his longevity says a lot. Thus far, he is the 2nd longest-playing veteran wearing #1. Overall, Burnett posted a 284 average with a 345 OBP. Not too shabby at all. He set the record for most hits in a single game in 1932 with NINE hits! Though not enough to propel him to the "best of" #1, he gets a nod for sure. This is the only card of Burnett I could find....

Johnny Grubb - 2 seasons (1977-1978) - Posting some of the better averages for this group, Grubb batted for .301 avg his first year and .265 avg his second with the Tribe. What I found to be eye-popping for a player wearing #1 was his .425 on-base percentage in '77. Before coming to the Tribe, he was an All-star outfielder.

Johnny Temple - 2 seasons (1960-61) - Temple went to the 1961 All-star game as a Triber. Unfortunately, in 5 at-bats he was walked once, struck out once, and never made it to base (aside from the walk). Evidently, he was involved in one of the MLB's first interleague trades in 1959. To me, he appears to be looking over the head of the photographer, as if spotting some menacing thing in the sky heading their way...

Jose Cardenal - 2 seasons (1968-69) - Cardenal had 40 stolen bases in '68 and 36 in '69. He also made two unassisted double plays in 1968. He batted .257 in both seasons, a feat not easily duplicated, I would think. An interesting tidbit I discovered about Cardenal: he developed the cup-shape design for the end of the bats. How about that? Top that off with a pose that says, "I will kill you with this bat if I have to."

Ken Berry - In 1975, Ken Berry batted in 25 games for the Tribe, during which he hit for a .200 average. By the time he got to the Indians, he had been to the '67 All-Star game and pulled in two Gold Gloves. He basically had peaked before the Indians got hold of him. I could not find a card of Berry, but I did find an auto'd 8x10 for sale...

Lyn Lary - 2.5 seasons (1937-part of 1939) - While with the Indians, he set his career high hits and doubles. Also in '37-'38, he had the same number of BBs (88) each year. In 1939, he was traded three times, and retired in 1940.

Mark Lewis - 5 seasons (1991-94 and 2001) - Now, for the purpose of #1, Lewis only wore the number in 2001. In 2001, he played in 6 games, batted 13 times, and posted an average of only .077. Yes, you read that right - a 77 average. Ouch! He may have worn #1, but with those stats, I think zero may have been better suited. I know this is not very polite, but I always thought this was the worst picture Lewis could have hoped for. This is one of those, "I used to wear my hair how!?" pictures...

Mike de la Hoz - 4 seasons (1960-1963) - de la Hoz posted near or above .260 average for each year with the Tribe, except for 1962. In 1962, he only had 12 at-bats and had one hit. Heavens, he posted a .083 average. Now, on a positive note, he started in more than 80 games his rookie year. In this card, he looks like he had just come off the bus after a long trip and told to smile for the camera.

Milt Galatzer - 4 seasons (1933-1936) - I could not find much information about Galatzer. He had an avg on par with many of the #1's in this list, though he batted for .301 in 1935. He played outfield and 1st base for most of his career, except for part of 1936. For whatever reason, he was move to Pitcher for part of that year. He pitched in one game for six innings, and managed to pull a 4.50 ERA. He was traded to the Reds, who promptly put him back at 1st base. The image here is the only I could find of him.

Oscar Grimes - 5 seasons (1938-42) - Grimes played all over the infield throughout his career. His average never rose above .269 with the Tribe (or above .280 throughout his career). In 1940, he only had 13 at-bats, not getting on base at all. His best Tribe-based season came in 1939 when he posted his .269 avg and .368 OBP.

Roy Cullenbine - 2.5 seasons (1943-45) - In 43 and 44, he batted for .289 and .284, respectively. This was solid enough to earn him a spot on the 1944 All-Star team. He only played in 8 games for the Tribe in 45 before being traded to the Tigers (who went on to win the series in 45, thank you).

Sam Horn - 1 year (1993) - Horn only played in 12 games for 33 at-bats. In those 33 at-bats, though, he batted .455, which is more than a tad better than some of the other players we've seen in this list. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a picture or card with him in a Tribe uniform, so I had to use a Red Sox pic. Oh well....

Tommy Hinzo - nearly 2 seasons (1987, 1989) - Hinzo only played in 85 games during his two-year career, ending with a career-total .248 average. Unfortunately, that is about all I can find on Hinzo. Well, other than his last name used to Lee.

Tony Fernandez - One season (1997) - He was signed in 96 after a broken elbow got him booted off the Yankees. At the time of his signing, he held the major league record for career fielding percentage by a shortstop at .980. During his time as a Triber, he a batted .286 avg with 11 homers and 44 RBIs. Too bad the Tribe lost the World Series that year.

Wil Cordero - 4 seasons sorta (1999, 2000-2002) - In 1999, Cordera joined the Indians as a left fielder. In 2000, he was traded to the Pirates who sent him back. He was a young kid when he broke into the majors (like 16-17 years old) and seemed to have trouble follow him both on and off the field (1997 domestic abuse arrest). The sad thing is that even with all his physical and personal issues, he still falls within the average range for Tribers wearing jersey #1 - He batted around .250 or so each year, though his first with the Tribe was .299, better than many on the list.