July 19, 1910: Cy Young makes baseball history by winning his 500th game, 5-4 against Washington. Young spent 1890-1898 pitching with the Cleveland Spiders and joined the Naps from 1909-1911.
1908 Addie Joss pitches a 74-pitch perfect game at League Park on October 2, 1908. Joss' fantastic career comes to an abrupt end two and a half years later when he contracts tubercular meningitis and passes away. Joss is elected to the Hall of Fame via the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee in 1978.
1910 League Park's old, wooden, facility is replaced with concrete and steel and opens April 21, 1910, seating about 21,000. Almost 19,000 fans pour into the new park at E. 66th and Lexington and watch the Detroit Tigers defeat the Cleveland Naps 5-0. For the next 36 years, League Park hosts Cleveland baseball.
1911 In a forerunner of today's All-Star Game, stars gathered at League Park for an exhibition against the Naps to benefit the family of the late Addie Joss on July 24, 1911. The All-Stars cruise to a 5-3 victory, but the goal of the event is accomplished - $12,931.60 is raised for the Joss family.
1914 On September 27, 1914, Nap Lajoie becomes the first player to reach the exclusive 3,000 hit mark in a Cleveland uniform. Nap Lojoie is the reason that Cleveland is called the Naps, showing what honor and respect his team and city had for him.
1915 Cleveland took on the name "Indians" in 1915, reviving a nickname of its old NL club upon the arrival of this Native American in 1897. Hall of Famer John Montgomery Ward referred to Sockalexis as "a marvel".
In 1920, Stan Coveleski shuts down the Brooklyn Robins, leading the Indians to a 3-0 victory. The Indians are World Champions for the first time, winning the series 5 games to 2.
1920 Game 5 of the 1920 World Series sees many firsts. Elmer Smith belts the first ever Grand Slam in the first inning. In the 4th, Jim "Sarge" Bagby becomes the first pitcher to ever hit a home run in the Series. And lastly, the most improbable firsts happens in the 5th when Bill Wambsganss' turns an unassisted triple-play, a feat that may never be duplicated.
1925 Indians player-manager Tris Speaker got his 3000th hit on May 17, 1925 at League Park - the second player to do so for Cleveland. Speaker was a shoe in for the Hall of Fame and was elected in 1937.
1948: Gene Bearden, the rookie knuckleballer, pitches the Indians into the World Series as he defeats the Red Sox in a one-game playoff. Lou Boudreau assists the victory with 2 HR.
1932 The first game at the new Stadium in 1932 was one of Cleveland's great sporting events with a reported total attendance of 80,184. Initially, Municipal Stadium split time with League Park as home to the Indians, but took over full duties in the 1947 season. 1993 is its final season.
1940 Bob Feller's Opening Day no-hitter on April 16, 1940 at Comiskey Park was the first of three no-hitters he pitched for the Indians. No one has ever opened the season with a no-no.
1948 In the pivotal Game 4 of the 1948 World Series, Larry Doby's home run makes the difference in a 2-1 Tribe victory. Steve Gromek goes the distance, shutting the Braves offense down to a single run. The Indians take a 3-1 Series lead and take home the crown 2 games later.
April 17, 1960: Trigger happy GM, Frank Lane, shocks Indians fans by trading away HR champion Rocky Colavito to the Detroit Tigers for batting champion Harvey Kuenn.
1954 Led by the stellar pitching of Lemon, Wynn and Garcia, the 1954 Indians set American League records for wins (111) and winning percentage (.721). Feller, Mossi, Narleski and Newhouser were also notable in the dominating pitching staff. Doby, Rosen and Avila shined with the bats.
1959 Fan favorite Rocky Colavito ties the MLB record for home runs in a game with four (in consecutive at bats) at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium on June 10, 1959. He goes on to lead the league in homers with 42.
1963 Wynn's 300th Win On July 13, 1963, Early Wynn beat the White Sox at Cleveland Stadium to become the only pitcher to win his 300th game with the Tribe. Nine years later, Wynn finds a home in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
1975 Frank Robinson Player-Manager Debut April 8, 1975 mark a great stride for not only baseball, but America. Frank Robinson becomes the first African-American manager in MLB history, and he enters the ranks in grand style, hitting a homer in his first at bat.
October 5, 1997: Facing elimination in Game 4 of the Division Playoffs, the Indians rally for single runs in the 8th and 9th to defeat the Yankees 3-2.
1977 Dennis Eckersley Throws a No-Hitter On May 30, 1977, Dennis Eckersley hurls a 1-0 no-hitter. Eckersley ended up now known for his great achievements as a closer with the Oakland A's, winning the Cy Young and MVP awards in 1992.
1981 Barker perfect game The shortened season sees the Indians play only 103 games, but one is among the most memorable ever. Large Lenny Barker retires 27 consecutive batters on May 15, 1981, to become the first Cleveland player to do so since Addie Joss. He beat Toronto 3-0 at Cleveland Stadium.
1994 Opener at Jacobs Field A new era in Indians History begins on April 4, 1994 when the Tribe plays its first regular season game at Jacobs Field - a 4-3 win in 11 innings vs. Seattle before 41,459 fans.
1995 Murray's 3000th Eddie Murray makes history on June 30, 1995 at Minnesota, when he bounces a single throught the right side for his 3000th hit. Eddie Murray joins Nap Lajoie and Tris Speaker as the 3rd player to enter the 3000 hit club while with Cleveland.
1995 Clinch A drought of 41 years ends on September 8, 1995 at Jacobs Field when the Tribe's 3-2 victory vs. Baltimore clinches the AL Central Division. A season of memorable comebacks along with hefty poundings sees the Indians go 100-44, winning the Division by 30 games, the largest margin ever.
Pena home run 10/3/95 In the wee hours of the morning, Tony Pena delivers Cleveland its first post-season victory since 1948 with his 13th inning HR on October 3, 1995 in game one of the ALDS. Most of the Indians faithful remains in chilly Jacobs Field to watch and celebrate.
1995 ALCS HeroKenny Lofton scores from second base on a passed ball in game six of the 1995 ALCS in Seattle. The rattled pitcher, Randy Johnson, gives up a home run to the ensuing batter, Carlos Baerga and the Indians burst into the World Series for the first time since 1954.
1997 On To The World Series Tony Fernandez lifts a laser over the right field wall in Camden Yards in the top of the 12th to give the Indians the only run of the game. In the bottom half, Jose Mesa strikes out Roberto Alomar clinching victory over Baltimore in the sixth game of the 1997 ALCS.
2000 Fielding Record For so many years the defense of the Indians has dazzled the league, and 2000 was no different. Gold Glovers R. Alomar, Vizquel, and Fryman, lead the 2000 Indians to set AL season fielding records in percentage(.988)& fewest errors(72).
2001 Comeback Tribe The Indians won their sixth American League Central Division crown in seven years in 2001. After missing the playoffs by one game in 2000, the Indians did what they were unable to do in 2000--win games within their division. The Indians finished 91-71 with a 47-29 record in the Central.
January 9, 2001: Tribe signs Juan Gonzalez After home grown slugger Manny Ramirez signed a free-agent contract with the Boston Red Sox, the Indians needed someone to fill the clean up spot and play right field. The Tribe signed two-time AL MVP Juan Gonzalez to a one-year contract with a mutual club and player option for '02. "We needed a guy to take Manny's spot, and Juan (Gonzalez) did a better than expected job, both offensively and defensively," Shapiro said.
February 28, 2001: Indians signs Omar Vizquel to contract extension The Indians inked the best fielding shortstop in baseball history to a two-year contract extension. The signing likely insures that Vizquel will finish is career as an Indian. "Omar is a very special player -- on the field and off it for the Indians,'' said General manager John Hart about the eight-time gold glove winner.
March 12, 2001: Indians signs Einar Diaz to a four-year contract After deciding not to re-sign fan favorite Sandy Alomar, Jr., the Indians decided to sign Diaz to a long-term contract. The 28-year-old turned out to be a solid force behind the plate, not to mention offensively.
March 17, 2001: Travis Fryman out 2-4 weeks with elbow injury In what turned out to be an injury that plagued him the entire year, Fryman missed the rest of Spring Training and the first two months of the season with an elbow injury. The injury hurt the Tribe defensively and offensive. Fryman had high hopes for the 2001 season as he was coming off a career year. He batted a career high .321 in 2000, drove in 106 RBI and won is first Gold Glove.
March 25, 2001: Jaret Wright and Charles Nagy start season on DL Two links to the Tribe's success in the past were placed on the disabled list to start the season. Wright and Nagy will eventually rejoin the Indians in the middle of the season, but neither could finish the season without being placed back on the DL.
April 2, 2001: Opening Day Juan Gonzalez hits two homers against the Chicago White Sox, but the Tribe still loses. Marty Cordova makes the 25-man roster coming out of Spring Training and plays a big role in the season.
April 4, 2001: Sellout streak comes to an end The sellout streak that began on June 12, 1995 ended on April 4. The 455 sellouts is a Major League record.
April 8, 2001 - Rookie C.C. Sabathia makes Major League debut 20-year-old left-handed pitcher, Sabathia makes his first career start against the Baltimore Orioles. After giving up three runs in the first inning, Sabathia settled down and allowed just one hit the rest of the way.
April 13, 2001: Sabathia picks up his first win The rookie gives up five runs in five innings, but the Tribe defeats the Tigers, 9-8. The win marks the first of 17 wins for the young southpaw.
April 21, 2001: Jim Thome homers on bobblehead doll day Struggling to start the season, Thome didn't even start the game against the Tigers. But in the 11th inning on his bobble head doll day, Thome homered off closer Todd Jones to give the Tribe a 5-4 victory.
April 28, 2001: Indians start longest winning streak of the season In a 7-3 win over the Rangers, the Tribe embarked on season-high 10-game winning streak.
May 10, 2001: Streak ends The Tribe's 10-game winning streak comes to an end with an 8-3 loss to the Royals. During the streak, the Indians swept two teams and outscored their opponents 86-33.
2004 A little past, present and future The Indians did a lot of looking back. The organization held celebrations of its 1954 AL pennant and its 10th season in Jacobs Field. But the Indians also gave fans some reason to celebrate the present. The club, which made a strong August bid for first place, showed it was one year ahead of schedule in terms of contending for a title, and it also introduced its fans to a collection of players who will be the faces of the future. Victor Martinez, Travis Hafner, Jake Westbrook and Coco Crisp had breakthrough seasons as the Tribe finished third in the Central Division with an 80-82 record.
2005 Indians contend, but fall just short General manager Mark Shapiro, who after the season was named Executive of the Year by The Sporting News, promised that the Indians would contend and they did, battling for a playoff spot all year long, only to fall short in the final week. The disappointment of not reaching the postseason could not diminish what was an exciting season in Cleveland, highlighted by the impressive performances of hitters Travis Hafner (33 homers, 108 RBIs), Jhonny Peralta (.292, 24 homers), Ronnie Belliard (.284, 17 homers), Grady Sizemore (22 homers, 22 steals) and Coco Crisp (.300, 15 homers, 15 steals). Starters Cliff Lee (18-5, 3.79 ERA), C.C. Sabathia (15-10, 4.03) and Jake Westbrook (15-15) and relievers Fernando Cabrera (2-1, 1.47), Bob Howry (7-4, 2.47) and Bob Wickman (45 saves in 50 chances) combined to form a solid pitching staff that ranked among the best in the league.
2006 The Indians came into 2006 with high hopes that their rebuilding plan would reach its playoff fruition. But a troubled bullpen and shaky infield defense led to the club being out of contention by midseason. Ranking second in the Majors in runs scored with 870 and compiling the third-best starters' ERA in the AL with a 4.31 mark was not enough to overcome those glaring faults.
Though the team struggled, several players had big years. Travis Hafner hit 42 homers and drove in 117 runs, despite missing the last month with a broken hand, while Grady Sizemore led the AL in runs scored (134), extra-base hits (92) and doubles (53). Ace left-hander C.C. Sabathia ranked third in the AL in ERA with a 3.22 mark and eighth in strikeouts with 172.
2007 Five years after general manager Mark Shapiro tore up a perennial playoff contender and began the painful process of rebuilding, the Indians delivered on Shapiro's long-stated promises in 2007. Behind 19 victories from both Cy Young winner CC Sabathia and Fausto Carmona, a career year from Victor Martinez and a league-leading 45 saves from Joe Borowski, not only did the Indians contend for the American League Central Division crown, they ran away with it by eight games. And not only did they reach the postseason for the first time since 2001, they toppled the New York Yankees in the playoffs.
Unfortunately for the Indians, one last goal eluded them. A 3-1 AL Championship Series lead against the Red Sox went to waste when Sabathia and Carmona struggled, and a World Series berth could not be attained. It was a bitter end to a splendid season.
2008 In 2008, the Indians returned virtually the entire team that fell one win shy of the World Series the previous year. But the magic of 2007 was gone. In its place stood a team derailed by injuries to the likes of Victor Martinez, Travis Hafner, Jake Westbrook and Fausto Carmona, as well as an unreliable bullpen and an offense that slumbered for the season's first two months.
The price of all this not only came in the standings, where the Indians finished in third place with an 81-81 mark. It also came when staff ace CC Sabathia was dealt to the Brewers for prospects on July 7.
Still, 2008 did leave some lasting memories. Cliff Lee resurrected his career and captured the Cy Young Award with a 22-3 season, and Grady Sizemore became just the 10th player in American League history to join the 30-30 (30 homers, 30 stolen bases) club, and Asdrubal Cabrera turned just the 14th unassisted triple play in baseball history.
2009 The Indians, despite the offseason additions of closer Kerry Wood, starter Carl Pavano and third baseman Mark DeRosa, never got on track in 2009 and fell to 65-97, tied with the Royals for last in the AL Central. Major organizational changes were made as a result. Once it was firmly determined that the team would not contend in the AL Central, the Indians had their second sell-off in as many seasons, trading away stars Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez, as well as DeRosa, Pavano, Rafael Betancourt, Ryan Garko and Ben Francisco to bring in prospects and rebuild the club. At season's end, manager Eric Wedge and his entire coaching staff were dismissed, as the Indians prepared to open a new chapter with manager Manny Acta in 2010.
2010 With a young, developing roster, the Indians were never seriously expected to contend in 2010. In fact, with an average age of 26.06 and 10 rookies on board, the Tribe ended the season with the youngest roster in the big leagues. Injuries and trades only added to the rebuilding nature of manager Manny Acta's first season at the helm, and the Indians finished with a 69-93 record, good for fourth place in the AL Central. Grady Sizemore was limited to 33 games by a knee injury that required season-ending surgery and Asdrubal Cabrera missed two months with a fractured forearm. Sizemore, Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo, the three core position players the Indians planned to build around, were in the same lineup just 28 times. Hot-hitting rookie catcher Carlos Santana also saw his year come to a premature end thanks to knee surgery. Veterans Jake Westbrook, Jhonny Peralta, Kerry Wood and Austin Kearns were all dealt at the Trade Deadline, opening up even more opportunities for unpolished players. It was a rebuilding year in every sense, as the Indians evaluated their internal talent to determine what players can help them in 2011 and beyond.
2011 The Indians ended the 2011 season with an 80-82 record, marking an 11-win improvement over the team's showing in the previous campaign. Cleveland stormed out of the gates, running to a 30-15 record and a seven-game lead atop the American League Central through May 23. Injuries and other issues hindered the Tribe down the stretch, however, and the team ended the year in second place. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who earned an American League Silver Slugger Award, started for the AL in the All-Star Game and ended the year with a club record for home runs (25) by a shortstop. Closer Chris Perez was also an All-Star. Catcher Carlos Santana set a franchise mark for a switch-hitter with 27 homers in his first full season in the big leagues. The Indians acquired starter Ubaldo Jimenez in a blockbuster deal prior to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline and then landed slugger Jim Thome in an August waiver deal. Thome's return to the Tribe -- after joining baseball's 600 Home Run Club earlier in the summer -- created some late-season excitement in the latter stages of a losing season. Justin Masterson and Josh Tomlin topped the rotation with 12 wins apiece and Cleveland's bullpen ranked fifth in the AL (first in the division) with a 3.71 ERA.
2012 The Indians hoped to build on a promising season in 2011, but fell short of expectations in a disappointing 2012 season. Cleveland turned in 94 losses, marking the third time in a four-year span that the club ended below .500, and finished fourth in the American League Central. The second-half slide, which included a 5-24 showing in August, cost Manny Acta (214-266 in parts of three seasons with the Indians) his job as manager on Sept. 27. Sandy Alomar Jr. served as the Tribe's interim manager for the season's final six games, but the Indians hired Terry Francona as the franchise's 42nd manager in October. There were some bright spots, including second baseman Jason Kipnis, who was one of three players in the Majors (Mike Trout and Ryan Braun were the others) to achieve at least 10 homers, 30 stolen bases, 70 RBIs and 80 runs scored in 2012. Kipnis was only the fourth Indians hitter in the past 25 years to reach those marks in a single season. Kipnis and Carlos Santana led the offense with 76 RBIs, while Santana led the club with 18 homers. That marked the fewest homers by a team leader for the Tribe since 1983.
On Oct. 2, designated hitter Travis Hafner belted his 200th home run as a member of the Indians, putting him eighth on the franchise's all-time home run list. The Indians offense ranked third in the AL with 555 walks, but 13th with 667 runs. The pitching staff had an AL-high 4.78 ERA, with the rotation going 48-76 with a 5.25 ERA. Justin Masterson (11-15) and Ubaldo Jimenez (9-17) labored through disappointing seasons at the top of the staff. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and closer Chris Perez (39 saves) were named to the American League All-Star team. Setup man Vinnie Pestano, who set a club record with 36 holds, earned the Bob Feller Man of the Year Award from the Cleveland chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Acta earned the BBWAA's Frank Gibbons-Steve Olin Good Guy Award for his understanding of the media's role and willingness to help on a daily basis. The Indians named Cody Allen their Minor League Pitcher of the Year (Bob Feller Award) and outfielder Tim Fedroff the club's Minor League Player of the Year (Lou Boudreau Award).
On Dec. 11, the Indians made a bold move, teaming with the Reds and D-backs for a three-team, nine-player trade. Cleveland received pitchers Trevor Bauer, Bryan Shaw and Matt Albers from Arizona, and outfielder Drew Stubbs from Cincinnati, in exchange for outfielder Shin-Soo Choo (Reds), infielder Jason Donald (Reds), reliever Tony Sipp (D-backs) and first baseman Lars Anderson (D-backs).
2013 In Terry Francona's first season as Cleveland's manager, the Indians experienced a 24-win improvement over their 2012 showing. That matched the franchise's best one-year turnaround in terms of wins, excluding strike-shortened seasons. Second baseman Jason Kipnis and starter Justin Masterson made the American League All-Star team for the 92-win Tribe, which won 21 games in September to claim the league's top Wild Card spot. The Indians ended the regular season with 10 straight wins, becoming only the sixth team in the Modern Era to accomplish that feat. Cleveland hosted the AL Wild Card Game, but was defeated by Tampa Bay in the Tribe's first trip to the playoffs since 2007. The Indians' rotation was led by strong comeback seasons from Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir, while the offense was led by Kipnis, Carlos Santana, Michael Brantley and Nick Swisher. Young players such as Corey Kluber, Yan Gomes, Danny Salazar and Cody Allen emerged as key parts of the roster in a season that included 11 walk-off wins, 16 shutouts and 51 wins at home. Cleveland's incredible comeback season helped earn Francona the American League Manager of the Year Award in voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.