Baseball, a sport that has become not only America’s favorite pastime since the beginning but one that has seen many records made and broken. In addition to the solidity of what the game of baseball has meant to the fabric of the American culture several outstanding players have made a name for themselves and, as a result, have (at one time or another) become big house names for the major league ball clubs in which they played for. This article will briefly discuss the best all-time pitchers of the Cleveland Indians.
5) Early Wynn 1949-57, 1963
Armed with a rough and gruff personality, Wynn was not only known for his ability to master the curveball under the direction of Mel Harder during his first years as the Indian’s hurler. While there were a lot of accumulated walks that were tallied on his pitching record, Wynn had an average ERA that never went above 3.5. While his major league career included stops in Washington and Chicago his glory years were spent with the Indians where he won his 300th win at age 43.
4) Stan Coveleski 1916 – 24
Although he and his older brother Harry pitched for separate ball clubs young Stan turned out to be an ace by his own right. While the most common pitch used by the young hurler was the spitball (a pitch that is no longer legal) Coveleski was given permission to continue using the pitch after it was all but eliminated from the game. As a result, Coveleski not only won well over 20+ games three of four years running. In addition to that Coveleski won the ERA crown in 1923 for his 2.76 ERA performance but also had several career 24 game winning seasons.
3) Addie Joss 1902 – 10
Prior to a tragic death at the tender age of 31, Joss had thrived as a pitcher earning his stripes in the deadball era. While one great accomplishment was his 1.78 ERA that placed him behind Ed Walsh for second all-time Joss threw a no-hitter in his first Cleveland game in 1902. In addition to his early success Joss won 20+ games four years in a row and even had a 1.16 ERA during the last 20+ win season. After collapsing prior to an exhibition game in 1911 Joss died of tubercular meningitis.
2) Bob Lemon 1941 – 42, 1946 – 58
Teamed up with the likes of Early Wynn, Mike Garcia, and others to form the greatest pitching rotation of all-time Lemon was best known as a position player that was converted to the ways of the mound. Lemon won 10 games in his first year as a pitcher before going on to win 20+ games in 7 of 8 seasons; this included a no-hitter, 10 shutouts, and many other accomplished feats. Considered to be the top ace of all pitchers in number one slot in a given rotation, Joss’s fielding skills were at its zenith as a result of his early career field position.
1) Bob Feller 1936 – 41, 1945 – 56
The only pitcher to ever throw a no-hitter on Opening Day, by the time Feller reached age 20 he had his first 20+ game winning season under his belt and just two short years later a total of 100 wins overall. While both these accomplishments were records it was predicted that had it not been for his enlistment into WWII he could have very well had a 300+ game winning career. His most common pitch velocity was over 100 mph and led the AL in strikeouts as well as walks. The hurler, nicknamed “Rapid Robert”, later on would need to rely on finesse as he longer possessed the speed that he had during the early portion of his career.
In conclusion, although the above stated Cleveland Indian greats are all pitchers from decades before the modernization of the game of baseball this list can stand as proof that there are many amazing feats and accomplishments that have unfolded over the years since the game began well over 100 years ago.