Saturday, July 26, 2008

Indians Uniform Number 11 (Part 1)

Welcome to today's installment of All-Time Tribers. Today, I present the first NINE of THIRTY-SIX Indians that have worn the number 11 on their backs.

Art Houtteman - 5 seasons (1953-57) - Houtteman pitched for the Indians after a multi-player trade brought him in from Detroit. In 1954, he managed to rack up a 4.50 ERA in the World Series. In his first three seasons as a Triber, he kept his ERA under 4.00, which sounds bad until you see that his last two seasons consisted of 6.50+ seasons. As an Indian, he wore the number 11 in each of his seasons, but in his first, he wore numbers 41 and 29 in addition to 11. Go figure. I'm not even going to get into his batting, other than to say he hit for an overall .149...

Ben Chapman - 2 seasons (1939-40) - Talk about playing with the numbers... Chapman wore #2 and #11 in '39 and #44 and #11 in 1940. Jiminy Cricket. Then again, if one looks over his entire major league career, one would See that he played all over the field and all over the country. As an Indian, he played Outfield, getting 315 hits in 1,093 at-bats with 71 doubles, 15 triples, and 10 home runs. Overall, he scored 183 runs, walked 165 times, struck out 75 times, and left the Indians with a .288 batting average.

Bill Melton - 1 season (1977) - Melton played his final major league career season in Cleveland. Hey, if you're going to go out, go out as a Triber! He batted in only 50 games, making 133 plate appearances. He scored 17 runs on 32 hits with 11 doubles, scoring 14 RBIs. He left the majors batting .241 in his final season.

Billy Moran - 4 seasons (1958-59, 1964-65) - Moran began and ended his time in the majors with the Indians franchise. Rather than spend all his time in Cleveland, he left for a few years to play for the Angels before returning. He only wore #11 for the final two playing seasons, so those are what we will look at today. In his last two years, he made just 175 trips to the plate (and only 25 of those in his final season). He scored 15 runs on 34 hits, 6 doubles, and one home run. He knocked in 10 RBIs and was walked 20 times while striking out 21 times. His final two seasons netted him a .165 average.

Damian Jackson - 2 seasons (1996-97) - To say he played two seasons is a bit of a stretch. He began his rookie year with the Indians and played in 5 games. The next season, he played in 8 games before he was sent to the "other" Ohio team. He managed a .300 average in his five rookie-season games, but only a .111 in his second season. He only wore the #11 during his brief appearance in that second season. Honestly, I had forgotten he even played for the Tribe until doing research for this...

Dave Duncan - 2 seasons (1973-74) - I am beginning to wonder if choosing all-timer #11 is going to be more difficult than the other numbers thus far. Not for the superiority, but rather for the lack thereof. Duncan batted .233 his first year and .200 in his second, for a .216 overall average as a Triber. Seriously, I'm hoping we find some worthy folks here soon...

Dick Brown - 3 seasons (1957-59) - Brown began his time in The Bigs as a rookie with the Indians. He came in and hit 30 times with 114 at-bats. He scored 10 runs, hit 4 homers and drove in 22 RBIs his rookie year for a .263 batting average. From there, he slipped to .237 and then to .222 in his final season in Cleveland. He was then traded in a multi-player deal with the White Sox.

Doug Jones - 7 seasons (1986-1991, 1998) - Jones wore the Number 11 for four of his seven seasons with the Tribe, and three of those four earned a spot on the AL all-star team. Around here (on this site), he is most notable remembered for the Score "Flaming Balls" card. Got 'em, flaunt 'em, I guess. While wearing #11, Jones went 19-27 with a 3.18 ERA. He gave up only 17 home runs and picked up 240 strike outs. Unfortunately, he gave up 119 runs (105 earned). He matched his runs-given-up with the number of saves he accrued during that same time period - 119 saves.

Earl Whitehill - 2 seasons (1937-38) - As you read these stats, please keep in mind, we are talking about TWO seasons here... Really, just two. And, really, we're talking less than 60 games. In 59 games, Whitehill went 17-16 with 10 complete games. He even managed a shutout in '37. Sounds okay so far, right? In those same 59 games (307.1 innings pitched), he gave up 376 hits, 220 runs (205 earned), gave up 27 home runs, walked 163 batters, and struck out 113 batters. All of this adds up to a two-year ERA of 6.025. The Indians released him after that.

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