Indianapolis Indians

From BR Bullpen

Indianapolis Indians.png

Team History[edit]


The Indianapolis Indians, of the Triple-A International League and briefly in Triple-A East, are the only minor league team that has played in the same city using the same nickname since 1902. The Pittsburgh Pirates farmhands play their home games at Victory Field in Indianapolis, IN.

The Indians started using that nickname 13 years earlier than the Cleveland Indians - who bought their Indy namesake in 1952 and were about to move the club when locals bought it back. The brand will continue, despite some controversy, with the Tribe's February 22, 2023, announcement of a two-year partnership with the Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana.[1] The deal is similar to that of the Spokane Indians of the Northwest League and the Spokane Tribe of the Spokane Reservation, and outside the confines of minor league baseball with that of the Florida State University Seminoles and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

The same movement that caused the NFL's Washington Redskins' and MLB's Indians' change of nicknames wants Indy to give up Indians. The I-Tribe considered doing so, but years slid past after their August 2020 statement to that effect. Their name being so clearly grounded in their state and city's makes it seem unnecessary.

For a team that has shown great continuity in its nickname, there has not been the same stability in terms of leagues. When the American Association disbanded after the 1962 season, the Indians joined the International League in 1963, and then the Pacific Coast League from 1964 to 1968. In 1969, the American Association was re-formed following MLB's only four-team expansion, and the team returned to its old circuit - for a spell.

The Indians left their longtime home, Bush Stadium, and moved to new, downtown Victory Field in 1996. In 1998, Triple-A baseball re-consolidated into two leagues, again killing the Association, and the club rejoined the International League. In 2000, the Indians won the Triple-A World Series.

view of the field

In a feat of extreme rarity, two members of the Indians completed the cycle in the same inning on August 7, 2018. How rare is that? Minor League Baseball doesn't maintain records completely enough to say with certainty - or, for that matter, forever - but it has never been done in even the same game in the Majors.

Some of the greatest players to wear an Indians uniform have included Grover Cleveland Alexander, Luke Appling, Roger Maris, Harmon Killebrew, George Foster, Ken Griffey, Andres Galarraga, Randy Johnson, and Larry Walker. Hall of Famer Al Lopez was the Indians skipper from 1948 to 1950.

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year League Affiliation Record Finish Manager Postseason Team MVP
1902 AA none 95-44 1st William Watkins
1903 AA none 78-61 4th William Watkins
1904 AA none 69-85 6th William Phillips
1905 AA none 69-83 6th E.G. Barrow
1906 AA none 53-96 8th Charlie Carr
1907 AA none 73-81 6th Charlie Carr
1908 AA none 92-61 1st Charlie Carr
1909 AA none 83-85 4th Charlie Carr
1910 AA none 69-96 7th Charlie Carr
1911 AA none 78-88 7th Jimmy Burke
1912 AA none 56-111 8th Jimmy Burke (13-23) / Charley O'Leary(22-45) /
Charles O'Day (21-43)
1913 AA none 68-99 8th Mike Kelley
1914 AA none 88-77 3rd Jack Hendricks
1915 AA none 81-70 3rd Jack Hendricks
1916 AA none 95-71 2nd Jack Hendricks
1917 AA none 90-63 1st Jack Hendricks Won Junior World Series
1918 AA none 41-34 3rd Napoleon Lajoie
1919 AA none 85-68 4th Jack Hendricks
1920 AA none 83-83 5th Jack Hendricks
1921 AA none 83-85 4th Jack Hendricks
1922 AA none 87-80 4th Jack Hendricks
1923 AA none 72-94 7th Jack Hendricks
1924 AA none 92-74 2nd Donie Bush
1925 AA none 92-74 2nd Donie Bush
1926 AA none 94-71 2nd Donie Bush
1927 AA none 70-97 6th Bruno Betzel
1928 AA none 99-68 1st Bruno Betzel Won Junior World Series
1929 AA none 78-89 4th Bruno Betzel
1930 AA none 60-93 8th Red Corriden
1931 AA none 86-80 3rd Red Corriden (22-28) / Emmett McCann (64-52)
1932 AA none 86-80 5th Emmett McCann
1933 AA none 82-72 3rd Wade Killefer
1934 AA none 77-75 5th Wade Killefer
1935 AA none 85-67 2nd Wade Killefer
1936 AA none 79-75 4th Wade Killefer Lost AA Championship
1937 AA none 67-85 6th Wade Killefer
1938 AA none 80-74 4th Ray Schalk Lost in 1st round
1939 AA Cincinnati Reds 82-72 3rd Ray Schalk (48-42) / Wes Griffin (34-30) Lost AA Championship
1940 AA Cincinnati Reds 62-84 6th Wes Griffin (26-38) / Jewel Ens (36-46)
1941 AA Cincinnati Reds 65-88 6th Wade Killefer
1942 AA none 76-78 6th Gabby Hartnett
1943 AA none 85-67 2nd Donie Bush Lost AA Championship Stew Hofferth, C
1944 AA none 57-93 6th Donie Bush (2-12) / Bob Logan (0-2) /
Mike Kelly (55-81)
Wayne Blackburn, OF
1945 AA none 90-63 2nd William Burwell Stan Wentzel, OF
1946 AA Boston Braves 88-65 2nd William Burwell Lost AA Championship Sibby Sisti, SS
1947 AA Pittsburgh Pirates 74-79 6th Jimmy Brown Roy Weatherly, OF
1948 AA Pittsburgh Pirates 100-54 1st Al Lopez Lost in 1st round Les Fleming, 1B
1949 AA Pittsburgh Pirates 92-61 2nd Al Lopez AA Champions, won Junior World Series Nanny Fernandez, 3B
1950 AA Pittsburgh Pirates 85-67 2nd Al Lopez Lost AA Championship Danny O'Connell, SS
1951 AA Pittsburgh Pirates 68-84 7th Don Gutteridge Jack Merson, 2B
1952 AA Cleveland Indians 75-79 6th Eugene DeSautels Dave Pope, OF
1953 AA Cleveland Indians 82-72 4th Birdie Tebbetts Lost in 1st round Wally Post, OF
1954 AA Cleveland Indians 95-57 1st Kerby Farrell Lost AA Championship Herb Score, P
1955 AA Cleveland Indians 67-86 7th Kerby Farrell Billy Harrell, IF
1956 AA Cleveland Indians 92-62 1st Kerby Farrell AA Champions, won Junior World Series Larry Raines, IF
1957 AA Chicago White Sox 74-80 6th Andy Cohen Ron Jackson, 1B
1958 AA Chicago White Sox 72-82 6th Walker Cooper Johnny Callison, OF
1959 AA Chicago White Sox 86-76 3rd Walker Cooper Joe Hicks, OF
1960 AA Philadelphia Phillies 65-89 7th Johnny Hutchings (30-39) / Ted Beard (35-50) Larry Raines, OF
1961 AA Cincinnati Reds 86-64 1st Cot Deal Lost in 1st round Cliff Cook, 3B
1962 AA Chicago White Sox 89-58 1st Luke Appling Lost in 1st round Tom McCraw, 1B
1963 IL Chicago White Sox 86-67 1st Rollie Hemsley IL Champs Don Buford, 3B
1964 PCL Chicago White Sox 89-69 2nd Les Moss Ken Berry, CF
1965 PCL Chicago White Sox 70-78 4th George Noga Lee Elia, SS
1966 PCL Chicago White Sox 80-68 3rd Les Moss Dick Kenworthy, 3B
1967 PCL Chicago White Sox 76-71 2nd Don Gutteridge Jim Hicks, 1B-OF
1968 PCL Cincinnati Reds 66-78 5th Don Zimmer Hal McRae, 2B
1969 AA Cincinnati Reds 74-66 3rd Vern Rapp Bernie Carbo
1970 AA Cincinnati Reds 71-69 3rd Vern Rapp Ross Grimsley, P
1971 AA Cincinnati Reds 84-55 1st Vern Rapp Lost AA Championship Pedro Borbon, P; Bill Plummer, C
1972 AA Cincinnati Reds 61-79 4th Vern Rapp Roe Skidmore, 1B
1973 AA Cincinnati Reds 74-62 2nd Vern Rapp Ken Griffey, OF
1974 AA Cincinnati Reds 78-57 1st Vern Rapp Lost AA Championship Tom Spencer, OF
1975 AA Cincinnati Reds 71-64 2nd Vern Rapp Joe Henderson, P
1976 AA Cincinnati Reds 62-73 3rd Jim Snyder Dave Revering, 1B
1977 AA Cincinnati Reds 72-64 2nd Roy Majtyka Dave Revering, 1B
1978 AA Cincinnati Reds 78-57 1st Roy Majtyka Lost AA Championship Champ Summers, OF
1979 AA Cincinnati Reds 67-69 4th Roy Majtyka Ron Oester, SS
1980 AA Cincinnati Reds 58-77 4th Jim Beauchamp Geoff Combe, P
1981 AA Cincinnati Reds 62-74 3rd Jim Beauchamp Dave Van Gorder, C
1982 AA Cincinnati Reds 75-61 1st George Scherger AA Champs' Gary Redus, OF
1983 AA Cincinnati Reds 64-72 3rd Roy Hartsfield Dallas Williams, OF
1984 AA Montreal Expos 91-63 1st Buck Rodgers Lost in 1st round Razor Shines, 1B
1985 AA Montreal Expos 61-81 4th Felipe Alou Andres Galarraga, 1B
1986 AA Montreal Expos 80-62 1st Joe Sparks AA Champs Casey Candaele, 2B
1987 AA Montreal Expos 74-64 3rd Joe Sparks AA Champs Dallas Williams, OF
1988 AA Montreal Expos 89-53 1st Joe Sparks AA Champions, won Triple-A Classic Billy Moore, OF
1989 AA Montreal Expos 87-59 1st Tom Runnells AA Champions, won Triple-A Classic Junior Noboa, 2B
1990 AA Montreal Expos 61-85 4th Tim Johnson Scott Anderson, P
1991 AA Montreal Expos 75-68 4th Jerry Manuel (28-22) / Pat Kelly (47-46) John Vander Wal, OF
1992 AA Montreal Expos 83-61 2nd Pat Kelly F.P. Santangelo, IF-OF
1993 AA Cincinnati Reds 66-77 7th Marc Bombard Scott Ruskin, P
1994 AA Cincinnati Reds 86-57 1st Marc Bombard AA Champs Doug Jennings, OF
1995 AA Cincinnati Reds 88-56 1st Marc Bombard Lost in 1st round Eric Owens, 2B
1996 AA Cincinnati Reds 78-66 3rd Dave Miley Lost League Finals Eduardo Perez, 3B
1997 AA Cincinnati Reds 85-59 2nd Dave Miley Lost in 1st round Aaron Boone, 3B
1998 IL Cincinnati Reds 76-67 6th Dave Miley Roberto Petagine, 1B
1999 IL Cincinnati Reds 75-69 7th Dave Miley D.T. Cromer, 1B
2000 IL Milwaukee Brewers 81-63 5th Steve Smith League Champs
won Triple-A World Series
Bob Scanlan, P
2001 IL Milwaukee Brewers 66-78 11th Wendell Kim Marco Scutaro, 2B
2002 IL Milwaukee Brewers 67-76 3rd Ed Romero Jim Rushford, OF
2003 IL Milwaukee Brewers 64-78 4th Cecil Cooper Pete Zoccolillo, OF
2004 IL Milwaukee Brewers 66-78 3rd Cecil Cooper Ben Hendrickson, P
2005 IL Pittsburgh Pirates 78-66 2nd Trent Jewett Lost IL Championship Cesar Crespo, IF-OF
2006 IL Pittsburgh Pirates 76-66 1st (tie) Trent Jewett Lost one game playoff Carlos Maldonado, C
2007 IL Pittsburgh Pirates 70-73 8th Trent Jewett Brian Bixler, SS
2008 IL Pittsburgh Pirates 68-76 9th Trent Jewett Neil Walker, 3B
2009 IL Pittsburgh Pirates 70-73 9th Frank Kremblas Dan McCutchen, SP
2010 IL Pittsburgh Pirates 71-73 8th Frank Kremblas Brandon Moss, OF
2011 IL Pittsburgh Pirates 76-68 6th Dean Treanor Matt Hague, 1B
2012 IL Pittsburgh Pirates 89-55 1st Dean Treanor Lost in 1st round Rick VandenHurk, SP
2013 IL Pittsburgh Pirates 80-64 3rd Dean Treanor Lost in 1st round
2014 IL Pittsburgh Pirates 73-71 7th Dean Treanor
2015 IL Pittsburgh Pirates 83-61 1st(t) Dean Treanor Lost League Finals
2016 IL Pittsburgh Pirates 70-74 7th Dean Treanor
2017 IL Pittsburgh Pirates 79-63 5th Andy Barkett Lost in 1st round
2018 IL Pittsburgh Pirates 73-67 5th (t) Brian Esposito
2019 IL Pittsburgh Pirates 66-74 9th (t) Brian Esposito
2020 Season cancelled
2021 Triple-A East Pittsburgh Pirates 57-62 11th Brian Esposito 4-5
2022 IL Pittsburgh Pirates 74-75 10th (t) Miguel Perez
2023 IL Pittsburgh Pirates Miguel Perez


  • American Association Champions: 3 times (1902, 1908 and 1928)
  • American Association Regular Season Champions: 11 times (1948, 1954, 1956, 1961, 1962, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1994 and 1995)
  • American Association Playoff Champions: 8 times (1949, 1956, 1982, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1994)
  • American Association Eastern Division Champions: 3 times (1971, 1974 and 1978)
  • International League Playoff Champions: 2 times (1963 and 2000)
  • Junior World Series Champions: 3 times (1917, 1928 and 1949)
  • Triple-A Classic Champions: 2 times (1988 and 1989)
  • Triple-A World Series Champions: 1 time (2000)





External Links[edit]

Further Reading[edit]