1954 Cleveland Indians
From BR Bullpen
 1954 Cleveland Indians / Franchise: Cleveland Indians / BR Team Page
Won AL Pennant
Managed by Al Lopez
|New York Yankees||103||51||.669||8|
|Chicago White Sox||94||60||.610||17|
|Boston Red Sox||69||85||.448||42|
 History, Comments, Contributions
The 1954 Indians can only be described as awesome. They won 111 games in the regular season, beating the 1954 Yankees by eight games, the 1954 White Sox by seventeen games, and the rest of the teams in the league by at least 42 games.
The Indians' total of 111 victories was not only the best of the 1950's in the American League, it was also the only time an American League team bested 100 victories in a season that decade, other than the 103 victories of the 1954 Yankees as they finished behind the Indians.
The pitching staff was simply incredible. Three of the Indians' rotation finished in the top five in the league in ERA - Mike Garcia, Hall of Famer Bob Lemon, and Hall of Famer Early Wynn. The other two starters, Hall of Famer Bob Feller (at age 35) and Art Houtteman, had ERA's that were both better than the league average ERA. Lemon, Wynn, and Garcia were in the top five in the league in wins, and Feller was second in the league in winning percentage.
Among relievers, rookie Ray Narleski was third in the league in saves, while rookie Don Mossi, with a 1.94 ERA and a 6-1 record, was fourth in the league in saves. Veteran Hall of Famer Hal Newhouser also tied for fourth in the league in saves, along with a 7-2 record and a 2.51 ERA.
Then there was the hitting. Bobby Avila led the league in batting (Ted Williams had a higher batting average, but insufficient at-bats). Al Rosen was in the top five in the league in both OBP and Slugging. Al Smith tied for second in the league in doubles. Larry Doby led the league in both home runs and RBI, and finished second in the MVP voting. Doby, Smith, and Rosen were all in the top five in the league in walks. Avila led the league in sacrifice hits and Rosen led the league in sacrifice flies.
The team was managed by Hall of Famer Al Lopez, who had a .584 winning percentage in his career as a major league manager. In six years as the Indians' skipper, he won the pennant in 1954 and finished second the other five times. He finished second five more times with the Chicago White Sox and won the pennant in 1959.
Although the Indians destroyed their competition in the regular season, it all fell apart for them in the 1954 World Series, as the 1954 Giants utterly dominated. One of the few bright spots was mid-season acquisition Vic Wertz, who hit .500 and slugged .938 in the Series, and would have slugged even better had Willie Mays not made the famous catch (The Catch) of the hard drive off his bat.
 World Series
|1||Indians – 2, Giants – 5 (10 innings)||September 29||Polo Grounds||52,751|
|2||Indians – 1, Giants – 3||September 30||Polo Grounds||49,099|
|3||Giants – 6, Indians – 2||October 1||Cleveland Stadium||71,555|
|4||Giants – 7, Indians – 4||October 2||Cleveland Stadium||78,102|
 Further Reading
- Joseph Wancho, ed.: Pitching to the Pennant: The 1954 Cleveland Indians, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2014. ISBN 978-0-8032-4587-7
- Gary Webster: .721: A History of the 1954 Cleveland Indians, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2013. ISBN 978-0-7864-7655-8