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1920 Cleveland Indians
1920 Cleveland Indians / Franchise: Cleveland Guardians / BR Team Page
World Series Champs
Managed by Tris Speaker
Coach: Jack McCallister
History, Comments, Contributions
The 1920 Indians' pennant is due primarily to a .303 team batting average (the St. Louis Browns led the league at .308) and the pitching of Jim Bagby, 31-12, Stan Coveleski, 24-14, and Ray Caldwell, 20-10. A big boost came from Duster Mails, brought up from the Pacific Coast League at the end of August, who won seven without a loss on a 1.85 ERA. But, more importantly, the Indians were able to overcome one of baseball's worst tragedies, the death of starting shortstop Ray Chapman as the result of a beaning on a pitch thrown by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees on August 20. Chapman's replacement, rookie Joe Sewell filled in very ably, hitting .329 in 22 games, to start a major league career that would eventually lead him to the Hall of Fame.
The Indians had to overtake the defending AL champions Chicago White Sox and their four 20-game winners. The White Sox were racked by the Black Sox Scandal which came into full public knowledge in early September. They played poorly down the stretch as a result, allowing the Indians to clinch their first pennant.
|Chicago White Sox||96||58||.623||2|
|New York Yankees||95||59||.617||3|
|St. Louis Browns||76||77||.497||21½|
|Boston Red Sox||72||81||.471||25½|
|1||Indians - 3, Dodgers - 1||October 5||Ebbets Field||23,759|
|2||Indians - 0, Dodgers - 3||October 6||Ebbets Field||22,559|
|3||Indians - 1, Dodgers - 2||October 7||Ebbets Field||25,088|
|4||Dodgers - 1, Indians - 5||October 9||Dunn Field||25,734|
|5||Dodgers - 1, Indians - 8||October 10||Dunn Field||26,884|
|6||Dodgers - 0, Indians - 1||October 11||Dunn Field||27,194|
|7||Dodgers - 0, Indians - 3||October 12||Dunn Field||27,525|
- Scott Longert: The Best They Could Be: How the Cleveland Indians became the Kings of Baseball, 1916-1920, Potomac Books, Dulles, VA, 2013. ISBN 978-1612344935
- Mike Sowell: The Pitch that Killed: The Story of Carl Mays, Ray Chapman and the Pennant Race of 1920, Ivan R. Dee Publisher, Chicago, IL, 2004. (Originally published in 1989).
- Rick Swaine: Do It for Chappie : The Ray Chapman Tragedy, Tucker Bay Publishing, Crawfordville, FL, 2019. ISBN 9781733673556
- Gary Webster: Tris Speaker and the 1920 Indians: Tragedy to Glory, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2012. ISBN 978-0-7864-6796-9