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Adopting the name, the Cleveland Indians, in 1915, this American League original team has been holding a special place in the hearts of Ohio baseball fans for more than a century.
After their initial inception as the Grand Rapid Rustlers in 1894, the franchise moved to Cleveland in the year 1900 and went by many names before finally settling on the Indians. During the chaos of an ownership change in 1916, manager Lee Fohl made a few key moves under the radar that would pay off big.
Bringing in Stan Coveleski, Jim Bagby, and Tris Speaker ended up being a great move as all three would become key contributors in 1920 when the Cleveland Indians would capture their first pennant and go on to their first World Series championship over the Brooklyn Robins.
The years that followed had the Indians languishing in the middle of the pack. 1936 brought them a phenomenal player who would go on to become an all-time Cleveland Indians favorite. Bob Feller was still a teenager when he joined the team but quickly earned a reputation as an incredible pitcher.
Putting a talented team around him led the Indians to make a return trip to the World Series in 1948. Ken Keltner, Lou Boudreau, Joe Gordon, Larry Doby, and Gene Bearden all contributed to the amazing season and series win over the Boston Red Sox.
Unfortunately for the fans of this franchise, 1948 marks the last time an announcer called a game in which the Indians won the World Series. A snake bitten franchise for the last 70 years, they are still on the hunt for the next championship.
Four opportunities to recapture the World Series title has eluded the Indians, including the most recent one in 2016. Despite a great season in which they finished 94-67 and their quick work in the playoffs going through the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays, the Indians fell to the Chicago Cubs in game seven of the World Series. The loss gave the Cubs their first championship since 1908.
Could 2018 be the year the break through to the highest of plateaus and win the World Series? The stage is set for an exciting season, with Manager Terry Francona confident that his guys can muscle through the grueling schedule and make it back to the Fall Classic. Pitching will, undoubtedly, be critical to their success. A roster that includes Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, and Cody Allen is sure to be a recipe for success.
In great shape with their position players, the Indians infield includes Yan Gomes, Jason Kipnis, Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, and newcomer to the tribe, Yonder Alonso. Tracking balls down in the outfield are Michael Brantley, Bradley Zimmer, and Lonnie Chisenhall. Rajai Davis is back with the club and is ready to enter the game at a moment’s notice. Veteran Edwin Encarnacion is back for a second season in Cleveland at the DH spot, keeping pitchers honest and going deep in the pitch count. Additional information about the Cleveland Indians of past and present can be found by clicking here.