2013 Cleveland Indians Preview (80-82, 2nd in AL Central)
Check back in the Spring for the Indians 2013 Season Preview.
CLEVELAND INDIANS INFORMATION:
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Stadium: Progressive Field (formerly known as Jacobs Field, aka: The Jake)
Conference: American League
Division: Central Division
Rivals: Chicago White Sox
Notable Players: Early Wynn, Bob Lemon, Sandy Alomar Jr.
Cleveland Indians World Series Title: 2 - last World Series apperance, 1997
Cleveland AL Championships: 5 - last AL Championship appearance, 2007
After teams in the National Association and the American Association failed to get off the ground in Cleveland, the city finally got a respectable baseball team when the Grand Rapids Blues moved to Cleveland and joined the American League. The team experienced a few name changes over their first decade and a half, going from the Blues to the Bronchos to the Naps, before finally settling on the Indians in 1915. The Indians would be a largely middling team in their first few years, but a tragic event in 1920 helped them pull together and win the first championship in the team's history.
The Indians were in the midst of a heated pennant race in 1920 when one of the worst sports tragedies in baseball history took place. In a game against the New York Yankees, Indians shortstop Ray Chapman was hit in the head by a pitch, trotted off to first and then collapsed. He was never able to regain consciousness and died the following day. Whether it was the intensity of the situation or Chapman's spirit guiding the way, the Indians became one of the most dominating teams in the league and took their first American League pennant. The Indians were up against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series, which proved to be one of the most competitive in history. After limping back to Cleveland trailing two games to one, the Indians would win three out of the next four to capture their first ever World Championship.
After almost 30 years, the Tribe returned to the World Series in 1948 after battling the Boston Red Sox in a one game playoff for the American League pennant. Against the Boston Braves in the World Series, it was the Indians pitching that would prevail, as Bob Lemon and Gene Bearden combined to shut down the Braves' batting order. With Larry Doby's pivotal home run in Game 4, the Indians closed out the Braves in seven games to capture their second title.
Since the switch to a divisional alignment, the Indians have been an extremely competitive team with three World Series appearances and seven division championships. With a beautiful modern ballpark in Progressive Field and an aggressive front office, Indians fans should see their third World Series banner in their home stadium in the near future.
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