This Week in Cleveland Indians History: 4 short stories from 50+ years ago

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Some weeks in Cleveland Indians history there are a couple of really big stories. And then some weeks, we have several short but interesting events. That’s how it is this week.

A look back at some of the interesting things that happened this week in Cleveland Indians history.

July 9, 1961 Go for immortality… or…

In a game against the Chicago White Sox, Willie Kirkland hit a home run in his first three at-bats. The Sox intentionally walked him in his fourth plate appearance.

Coming up in the bottom of the ninth, with the tying run on base, his manager (Jimmie Dykes) called for a sacrifice bunt. Because that would bring up a hotter hitter for the win? Really?Whatever the reason, Kirkland bunted, and the Indians lost, 9-8.

July 10, 1932 – If only he had gone 10 for 11 we might have won…

Indians shortstop Johnny Burnett set a major league record by going 9 for 11 in an 18 inning game against the Philadelphia Athletics. Sadly it wasn’t enough as Philadelphia – led by Jimmie Foxx (6 for 9 with 3 HR and 8 RBI) – won 18-17. Eddie Rommel picked up the win in relief, pitching 17 innings, giving up 29 hits and nine walks and 13 earned runs.

July 10, 1947 – A rare no-hitter

Don Black throws a no-hitter for the Tribe, beating the Philadelphia Athletics, 3-0. Black was 34-55 for his career (12-16 in three years for the Indians). This makes him far and away the least effective Indians starting pitcher to ever throw a no-hitter.

JULY 12, 1951 – A more common no-hitter

Allie Reynolds no-hits the Indians, beating Bob Feller 1-0. This is one of two no-hitters Reynolds threw in 1951.

One might wonder how the Yankees found a pitcher like Allie Reynolds. They traded Joe Gordon to Cleveland for Reynolds in 1946. Gordon did well in 1948, but was gone by 1951. Meanwhile, Reynolds had a long and prosperous career for the Yankees.

Next: Lonnie Chisenhall and some Indians draft history

The Indians of that era had plenty of pitching (Bob Feller, Bob Lemon, Early Wynn, Mike Garcia, etc.) but you can never have enough pitching. Besides, when it helps the Yankees, that’s never good.