CLEVELAND INDIANS IN THE POSTSEASON
As one of the most storied teams in baseball history, the Cleveland Indians' history dates back t 1901 when the squad was known as the Blues. After a year under this moniker, the team was known as the Bronchos for several years and then the Naps until 1915 when fans voted to name the club the Indians after Louis Sockalexis, a popular 19th century Native American ballplayer. During the franchise's early years, the Indians were a middling team and wouldn't make the postseason until 1920, but the team certainly made up for that drought with an inspired performance.
The 1920 season was a series of highs and lows for the club. The Indians lost their starting shortstop to a freak accident at home plate, when New York Yankees pitcher Carl Mays hit Ray Chapman in the head with a pitch and Chapman never regained consciousness and died the next morning. Ironically, Chapman's replacement would be future Hall of Famer Joe Sewell, who played in honor of Chapman's memory and the whole team rallied to put together one of the most surprising postseason runs in Major League history. The team beat out traditional powerhouses, like the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox, and were pitted against the Brooklyn Robins of the National League. During a unique best-out-of-nine series, the Indians would win 5-2 and capture their first World Championship.
It would be more than two decades before the Tribe would set foot in another championship series in 1948. Led by Hall of Fame talents like Joe Gordon, Larry Doby, Lou Boudreau Bob Lemon, Satchel Paige and a slew of other big names, the 1948 Indians were one of the best teams to ever set foot on a baseball diamond. The Indians would match up against the Boston Braves in the World Series, and the team would prove to be no contest for the Tribe and they won in six games.
After a long period of losing seasons in the '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s, the Indians finally returned to the postseason in 1995 with an improbable run at the World Series. Unfortunately for the Indians, they ran into the red hot Atlanta Braves and would fall in six games. The Indians would make a triumphant return to the World Series in 1997, but would again fall in heartbreaking fashion to the Florida Marlins. In recent years, the Indians won a surprising division championship in 2007, but the team has made it their task to rebuild their farm system and their current roster to make another serious run at the squad's third World Championship.
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