Here are some of the important, interesting, or just plain strange events that occurred this week in Tribe history.
June 30, 1948
At Briggs Stadium in Detroit, Bob Lemon threw the ninth no-hitter in Indians history, defeating the Tigers 2-0. It was the first and only time in his Hall 0f Fame career that he reached this mark. Coming into the 1948 season the Tribe decided to use him exclusively as a pitcher after having Lemon serve as a double-duty player, both pitching and playing the outfield in previous seasons. In front of 49,761 fans, Lemon struck out four while walking three Tigers. Those four strikeouts moved him past fellow Tribe hurler Bob Feller for the AL lead. The win gave him a league-leading eleven wins, and it marked the eleventh complete game and fourth shutout on the season for Lemon.
The Indians offense did just enough against Tigers starter Art Houtteman, managing two unearned runs on five hits. The Tribe got to Houtteman in the first scoring the game’s only two runs. Lou Boudreau doubled in Dale Mitchell, who reached base on an error, for the game’s first run. He then came around to score on Hank Edwards’s sacrifice fly. Houtteman pitched a complete game but was saddled with the tough-luck loss.
Bob Lemon went on to have a spectacular 1948. He recorded twenty wins while leading the league in complete games, shutouts, and innings pitched. He was selected to his first All-Star Game, finished fifth in MVP voting, and was named the Sporting News’ AL Pitcher of the Year.
Fun fact: this was the first American League no-hitter at night.
June 30, 1995
On this date, Eddie Murray became the twentieth member of the Three Thousand Hit Club with his sixth-inning single to right off Twins starting pitcher Mike Trombley. This was his only base hit in the Tribe’s 4-1 victory over Minnesota at the Metrodome. The Indians had ten hits including a rare Wayne Kirby home run. Dennis Martinez pitched eight strong innings, striking out seven and allowing one run on five hits. He improved to 7-0 while Jose Mesa picked up his twentieth save.
Eddie Murray became only the third player to reach three thousand hits while playing for the Tribe. The other two were Nap Lajoie and Tris Speaker. Murray also joined Pete Rose as the only switch-hitters in the Club. He came to the Tribe as a free agent prior to the strike-shortened 1994 season and played with them until midway through the 1996 season when the Tribe traded him to the Orioles in exchange for pitcher Kent Mercker.
During his time in Cleveland, Murray slashed .281/.335/.451 with 50 home runs and 203 RBIs. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003 as a Baltimore Oriole.
July 1, 2016
Facing the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre, the Indians had to go nineteen innings in order to win their record fourteenth consecutive game. The Tribe defeated the Jays 2-1 in a game that lasted six hours and thirteen minutes. The game saw the two teams combine for 26 hits. However, both teams struggled mightily to produce hits when it mattered the most. Both the Indians and Blue Jays left seventeen players on base. The Tribe batted 1-12 with runners in scoring position, while the Blue Jays were not much better, going 1-10.
The Tribe scored in the third via a Jason Kipnis RBI single, bringing home Carlos Santana. The Blue Jays answered in the sixth with a Justin Smoak home run off Indians started Josh Tomlin. The score remained 1-1 until the top of the nineteenth inning when Carlos Santana smashed a line-drive home run to deep right-center field off Darwin Barney. Trevor Bauer picked up his seventh win, pitching five scoreless innings and striking out three. The teams combined to use eighteen pitchers, and the Indians tied the team record of thirteen shutout innings from their bullpen.
The club-record fourteen game winning streak surpassed the thirteen game streaks set in 1942 and 1951. It represented the longest streak in the American League since 2002. The record was short-lived though. The following season saw the Tribe set a team and AL record by winning 22 games in a row.
Come back later this week for part two.