Here are some of the important, interesting, or just plain strange events that occurred this week in Tribe history.
July 13, 1963
Facing the Kansas City Athletics, Tribe pitcher Early Wynn picked up his 300th and final win in his hall-of-fame career. Wynn was not at his best in the Indians 7-4 victory, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks in five innings of work. The Indians’ batters and reliever Jerry Walker, who pitched four shutout innings, carried him to the milestone win.
The Tribe signed Wynn midway through the season. He only managed the one win in his 20 appearances in 1963. Wynn previously pitched for the Indians from 1949-1957, compiling a record of 163-100 while making three All-Star teams. He ended his career after the ’63 season posting a record of 300-244 with a 3.54 ERA. Wynn won the Cy Young award in 1959 as a member of the Chicago White Sox. He entered the Hall of Fame in 1972, enshrined as a Cleveland Indian.
July 17, 1941
A day after extending his MLB record to 56 consecutive games with a hit, Joe DiMaggio again found himself facing a determined Indians team looking to end his run. Facing Tribe starter Al Smith in the first inning, DiMaggio hit a rocket down the third-base line. Indians third baseman Ken Keltner, playing deep, charged behind the base, snagging the ball backhanded. He quickly threw to first, barely beating the fleet-footed DiMaggio.
In the fourth, Al Smith drew the ire of Indians fans by walking DiMaggio. Now in the seventh inning, Keltner decided to play even deeper and closer to the line for the Yankee Clipper’s third at-bat. Swinging at the first pitch, DiMaggio smashed the ball down the third-base line again. And again, Keltner snagged the ball backhanded behind third. His throw arrived at first just before DiMaggio. DiMaggio found himself with one last chance to extend his streak in the eighth. Facing Jim Bagby, the Yankee star hit a fastball to shortstop Lou Boudreau. The ball hit a stone in the grass, sending it straight up. However, Boudreau was able to make the adjustment and began to turn an inning-ending double play. The streak was over.
Although the Tribe fell 4-3, they were able to end DiMaggio’s streak, thanks in large part to the fielding heroics of Ken Keltner. Years later when asked how deep Keltner was playing him, DiMaggio remarked, “Deep? …[H]e was standing in left field.”
July 19, 1910
On this date 110 years ago, Cy Young became the first, and only, member of the 500-win club. His Cleveland Naps defeated the Washington Senators 5-2 at League Park. The 43-year-old pitched all 11 innings, allowing two unearned runs on five hits while striking out three. Young began his career with the Cleveland Spiders where he won 240 games in nine seasons. He pitched for the Naps from 1909 to midway through the 1911 season, when the Naps traded him to the Boston Rustlers. Young retired at the end of the season.
The Hall of Famer ended his career with a record of 511-315 and an ERA of 2.63. Young holds the all-time record for wins, losses, games started, complete games, innings pitched, hits allowed, and batters faced. In sports, one often hears “records were made to be broken,” however, it is a safe bet that no one will ever break Young’s records.
July 19, 1974
Making only his fifth start of the season, Dick Bosman tossed the thirteenth no-hitter in Tribe history as the Indians defeated the mighty Oakland Athletics 4-0. He used great command to stymie the A’s bats. Bosman managed to complete his no-no by throwing only 79 pitches. Indians ace Gaylord Perry said, “It was a masterpiece. He missed the strike zone with only nineteen pitches, and that’s amazing.” Bosman struck out four while walking none. A’s slugger Reggie Jackson quipped, “He threw nothing overpowering. The best thing he had was a strike. I didn’t have a bad swing all night. I can’t swing any better than I did tonight and he no-hit me.” The only blemish on the night for the Tribe hurler was his errant throw to first, which allowed Sal Bando to reach base in the fourth inning, costing him a chance at a perfect game.
Designated hitter Joe Lis would provide the only support Bosman needed on this night with his two-run homer in the bottom of the third off A’s starter Dave Hamilton. Buddy Bell provided two hits, including an RBI-double. Dick Bosman ended the season 7-5 with a 4.10 ERA. His other notable accomplishment in baseball was winning the AL ERA title with the Washington Senators in 1969.