The Top 10 Greatest Cleveland Indians of All-Time: No.7 Tris Speaker

Coming in at number 7 on the list is a player most of us would’ve needed Doc Brown’s Delorean to go back and watch, “The Grey Eagle” Tris Speaker. Speaker was once part of the famous “Million-Dollar Outfield” in Boston. Speaker got the nickname “The Grey Eagle” due to his outstanding play in the outfield. But in 1915, Speaker was traded to the Indians. There Speaker would become the highest paid player in the league at the time making 40,000 a year. As for his play in the field, Speaker would hit at least .350 in nine of his eleven seasons with the Indians. In his 1916 season, he would lead the league in hits, doubles, batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage. Speaker out-dueled the great Ty Cobb for the best average that year with Speaker hitting .386 to Cobb’s .371.

1920 was a year that saw tragedy turn into triumph. On August 17th Indians infielder Ray Chapman died after suffering a fatal injury after a pitch struck him in the head. Chapman had been asked about retirement before the season, and he said that he wanted to help Speaker earn Cleveland’s first World Series victory before thinking of retirement. How would Speaker and the Indians respond? Speaker would deliver a huge RBI triple in the deciding game of the World Series in which the Indians went on to win their first World Series Championship in franchise history.

Tris Speaker went on to have a Hall of Fame career, he still holds MLB records for career doubles (792) and career outfield assists (449).

Key Moments:

Winning the AL Battle Title in 1916

Winning the World Series as a Player/ Manager in 1920.

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