Introducing the Cleveland Indians’ Franchise Four candidates

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Earl Averill

Earl Averill

Goudey baseball card, 1933 — Goudey Gum Company

Earl Averill burst onto the big league scene in 1929 with an incredible rookie season. He hit .332/.398/.538 in his first season, clubbing 74 extra-base hits — 18 home runs, 13 triples and 43 doubles — and a 4.2 WAR. 

Averill was the only American League outfielder to be named to each of the first six All-Star games from 1933-38 and posted his best all-around season in 1936. At 5-feet-9-inches and 172 pounds, Averill was a hitting machine whose 232 hits in ’36 were a career-high for the Hall of Fame outfielder. He batted .378/.438/.627 that season with a ridiculous OPS of 1.065. Averill finished the season third in AL MVP voting, behind Lou Gehrig and Luke Appling. despite tallying 82 extra-base knocks and 126 RBIs.

He spent 11 seasons with Cleveland, hitting .322 and tallying 1,903 hits and 1,084 RBIs over that stretch. His career total of 226 home runs was a Cleveland Indians’ record for 55 years.

Averill retired after spending part of the 1941 season with the Boston Braves and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1975.

Next: Lou Boudreau