July 2006

Hall Call

   While the Indians season has turned sour there will be a sweet moment coming next weekend at Jacobs Field when the Tribe inducts 7 new members into the Hall of Fame.  It has been 34 years between inductions and hopefully we won’t have to wait that long for future classes.  Rocky Colavito, Herb Score, Al Rosen and Sam McDowell will  be on hand for their enshrinement into the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame during a pre-game ceremony on July 29th.  Ray Chapman, Addie Joss and Al Lopez will also be inducted posthumously.

   Colavito and Score, two of the most popular players in team history remain close friends to this day. 

   "Sudden Sam" McDowell, who blew fastballs by hitters in overpowering fashion went to the All-Star game 6 times during his career and was a 20-game winner for the Tribe in 1970.  Suddensam

   Al Rosen remains the last Indians player to win the AL MVP award back in 1953, and came within a single hit of winning the Triple Crown (.336 BA, 43 HR, 145 RBI) losing the batting title by .001.

   "El Senor", Al Lopez was at the helm of the 1954 Indians team that won the American League pennant with a 111-win season.  He remains the Tribe’s all-time leader in winning percentage with a career managerial record of 570-354.

   Perfection was the name of the game for Addie Joss back in 1908 when he threw a perfect game against Chicago, 1-0.  The perfect game performance is regarded as one of the best in baseball history because it came in the heat of a pennant race on October 2, 1908.  He won 20 games four times during his career which was tragically cut short at the age of 31 when he died of tubercular meningitis.

   Perhaps no player in the history of baseball suffered a more tragic demise than popular shortstop Ray Chapman.  On August 17, 1920 Chapman was fatally beaned by a pitch thrown by Carl Mays of the Yankees.  He was the Indians starting shortstop for 7 seasons and had tremendous range and speed.

   This honor is long overdue for these seven men who thrilled Indians fans for years with their collective efforts between the lines.  On Saturday July 29th, Jacobs Field will truly be a "Field of Dreams" because as James Earl Jones said in the movie, "These players, this game, they are a part of our past.  They remind us of what was once good, and can be again."