Greatest Cleveland Indian Players of All Time

The Top Ten
1 Bob Feller

How legendary was Bob? Here's what his 1962 Hall of Fame Plaque said: Pitched 3 no-hit games in the A.L., 12 one-hit games. Set the modern strikeout record with 18 in a game and 348 for a season. Led the A.L. in victories six (one tie) seasons. Lifetime record: won 266, lost 162, winning percentage .621, ERA 3.25, and strikeouts 2,581.

And yes, Bob got a World Series ring too from 1948.

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2 Jim Thome

Jim is not just a Cleveland Indians legend. He's a baseball Hall of Famer. Here's what his 2018 Hall of Fame plaque said: Lefty slugger powered his way through a 22-year Major League career, amassing 612 home runs with a textbook uppercut swing. Authored six seasons of at least 40 homers and 12 seasons with 30 or better. Drove in 1,699 runs, including nine years of 100 or more. Drew 1,747 walks, pacing the A.L. three times. Led Cleveland to the 1995 and 1997 pennants as a key member of the Indians renaissance. Five-time All-Star first baseman began career at third base. Became eighth player to top 600 home runs, requiring the second-fewest at-bats to do so.

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3 Lou Boudreau

Only You Lou, and here's his Hall of Fame Plaque from 1970: Led A.L. shortstops in fielding eight seasons. Set major league mark for double plays by a shortstop (134) and won the batting title in 1944. Paced A.L. in doubles three times. Most Valuable Player in 1948 when he batted .355 to lead the Indians to a pennant as a player-manager. Lifetime batting average of .295.

Lou's 2 home runs in the 1948 American League Playoff Game helped the Indians beat the Red Sox en route to their only 2nd world championship. Only You Lou.

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4 Bob Lemon

Another Hall of Famer, and another Hall of Fame plaque, this time from 1976, and it says: Gained coveted 20-victory class seven times in a nine-year span. Became only the sixth pitcher in the 20th century to post 20 or more wins in seven seasons. Had a 207-128 record for his career. Paced the A.L. or tied for the lead in victories three times, shutouts once, innings pitched four seasons, and complete games five years. Hurled a no-hitter in 1948. Two years after his Hall of Fame induction as a manager, he led the Yankees to a World Championship.

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5 Albert Belle

Albert is not a Baseball Hall of Famer because of his relationship with the media, but as an Indian, he is officially a member of the Indians Hall of Fame. He had great years with the Tribe, and 1995 was one of the best. He hit .317 and posted an OPS of 1.091. He led the league with 126 RBIs, 121 runs scored, 52 doubles, 377 total bases, and a .690 slugging average.

On September 30th, he hit his 50th home run, and when the season ended, he became the first player in MLB history to hit 50 home runs and 50 doubles in a season. He also led the Indians to the World Series for the first time since 1954.

Ring My Belle

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6 Larry Doby

It took a while, but Doby is in the Hall of Fame. Here's his 1998 Hall of Fame plaque: Exceptional athletic prowess and a staunch constitution led to a successful playing career after integrating the American League in 1947. A seven-time All-Star who batted .283 with 253 home runs and 970 RBIs in 13 Major League seasons, the power-hitting center fielder paced the A.L. in home runs twice and collected 100 RBIs five times while leading the Indians to pennants in 1948 and 1954.

Appointed manager of the White Sox in 1978, he was the second African-American to lead a Major League club. He played four seasons with Newark in the Negro National League. Following his playing career, he worked as a scout and Major League Baseball executive.

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7 Addie Joss

Like Doby (no. 6), it took a while but Joss made it to the Hall of Fame in 1978. Here's his plaque: One of the premier pitchers of the American League's first decade. Speed and sharp control helped him to win 20 or more games in four seasons. He posted league-leading 27 victories and three one-hitters in 1907, hurled a perfect game in 1908, and had another no-hitter in 1910.

He is credited with 45 shutouts among his 160 career victories.

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8 Omar Vizquel

Omar had a great arm and a great bat, good enough to revive the Indian tribe to playoff glory. In 1999, he hit .333, the only time he hit .300 or better in a season.

As an Indian, he was an excellent fielder, good enough to win the Gold Glove 8 years in a row (1994-2001). An excellent base runner, he once stole 42 bases in 1999. He holds MLB records for most double plays at shortstop (1,734), most career games at shortstop (2,709), and fewest errors committed at shortstop (3 in 2000).

Omar is one of the Tribe's very best.

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9 Earl Averill

Truly forever an Indian, here's his 1975 Hall of Fame plaque: Compiled a .318 career batting average and hit 238 home runs.

He made more than 200 hits in a season twice and scored 100 or more runs five times. He rapped four homers, three consecutively in the first game, and batted in 11 runs in a 1930 twin-bill.

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10 Kenny Lofton

He may not be a Baseball Hall of Famer due to him playing on so many teams, but Lofton is a Cleveland Indians Hall of Famer due to his spectacular play and his love for his fans in Cleveland. Among the many highlights as an Indian are: holding an Indians record for most career stolen bases (452) and for one season alone (76 in 1996).

Once had 210 hits in 1996. Batted over .300 five times and over .320 two times. But most important, he led the Indians to the 1995 American League pennant and played in five All-Star Games as a member of the Indians. Truly an Indian great.

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The Contenders
11 C.C. Sabathia

C.C. Sabathia was a very good pitcher, but it was in 2007 that C.C. became a great pitcher. That year, he won 19 games, giving him the second most wins by any American League hurler. He also topped the circuit with 241 innings pitched and 34 starts, led the league with a strikeouts-to-walks ratio of 5.649, and ranked among the leaders in winning percentage (.731), ERA (3.21), WHIP (1.141), strikeouts (209), and complete games (4).

His excellent pitching earned him the American League Cy Young and the Sporting News American League Pitcher of the Year honors, a 14th place finish in the league MVP voting, and recognition as the winner of the Warren Spahn Award, presented annually to the best left-handed pitcher in the major leagues. It was truly a great year.

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12 Manny Ramirez Manuel S. "Manny" Ramírez is an American football guard for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League.

Welcome to another installment of Manny being Manny. Before he helped lead the Red Sox in ending the Curse of the Bambino, Manny was a great Indian. He was a two-time American League Player of the Month, a three-time Silver Slugger Award winner as an Indian, and played in four All-Star Games (1995, 1998-2000).

He was the 1999 American League RBI leader, batted over .300 five times, including over .330 two times. He holds career Indians records for highest slugging percentage (.592) and OPS (.998). He finished second in the 1994 American League Rookie of the Year voting. A great Indian.

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13 Tris Speaker

Joe Williams, a New York sportswriter, said, "There is no manlier man than Tris Speaker." Here's his 1937 Hall of Fame Plaque: Greatest center fielder of his day. Lifetime major league batting average of .345. Manager in 1920 when Cleveland won its first pennant and world championship.

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14 Nap Lajoie

One of the Indians' great pioneers, here's his 1937 Hall of Fame Plaque: Great hitter and the most graceful and effective second baseman of his era. Managed Cleveland for four years. League batting champion in 1901, 1903, and 1904.

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15 Joe Sewell

Another legendary Indian, here's his 1977 Hall of Fame Plaque: Posted a lifetime .312 batting average, topping .300 in ten of 14 years.

He was the most difficult man to strike out in the game's history, creating a record with the fewest career strikeouts (114), and had four seasons of four whiffs or less in 500 at-bats, and 115 games in a row without fanning. He led A.L. shortstops in fielding twice, and in putouts and assists four times.

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16 Early Wynn

He played in two very important World Series: 1954 and 1959. Here's his 1972 Hall of Fame Plaque: Winner of 300 major league games, set a record by pitching 23 years in the majors, gained 20 or more victories five times, and led the A.L. in earned-run average in 1950.

He led in innings pitched for three seasons and in strikeouts twice. He tied for most victories with 23 in 1954 and led the league with 22 wins at age 39 in 1959 to earn the Cy Young Award.

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17 Mel Harder

As an Indian pitching coach, he formed a group of pitchers known as the Indians Big Four when the team had a great period between 1948 and 1954. Harder was with Mike Garcia, Bob Lemon, Early Wynn, and Bob Feller, and together they formed a team that challenged the New York Yankees for the yearly rights to be called American League Champions.

In his career as a pitcher, Harder won 223 games, played in four straight All-Star Games (1934-1937), and was the American League ERA leader in 1933. Garcia was a pitching great.

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18 Wes Ferrell

Wes is not a baseball Hall of Famer, but his great pitching during the lean years of the Indians should not be overlooked and with good reason. He won 20 or more games four straight years with the Tribe, including 25 in 1930. He posted a winning percentage in excess of .600 four times. On April 29, 1931, he threw a no-hitter against the St. Louis Browns, winning 9-0. In that same game, he helped the Tribe a lot, going two for four at the plate with a homer, double, four RBIs, and two runs scored. A true great in Cleveland.

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19 Ken Keltner

Yes, I know baseball fans remember his involvement in ending one of baseball's greatest streaks. But for those who are new to this, here's the story. It was July 17, 1941, at Cleveland's Municipal Stadium. DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak was still ongoing, and DiMaggio had no intention to bunt, but Keltner was ready. He wisely chose to play the Yankee Clipper extremely deep and close to the third-base line every time he stepped to the plate. It paid off as Keltner made two great fielding plays and put an end to this amazing streak.

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20 Grady Sizemore

He was like a comet. He came and he went, but what a talent he was. He led the Indians to within one game of the 2007 World Series. Grady Sizemore was a great five-tool player. He surpassed 20 homers, 20 steals, and 100 runs scored four straight times with the Indians.

Indians general manager Mark Shapiro told Sports Illustrated in May 2007, "There is a superstar on our team, but if you walked into our clubhouse, you'd have no idea who it is. To watch Sizemore play day in and day out is a rare treat. All of us, from the front office, to the players, to the batboys, are fortunate to see him every day. He is without a doubt one of the greatest players of our generation."

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21 Al Rosen

Al was one of a kind to Indians fans, especially during the glory days of the franchise in the 1950s.

1953 was his year, as he established career-high marks in 10 different offensive categories, including home runs (43), RBIs (145), batting average (.336), runs scored (115), hits (210), on-base percentage (.422), slugging percentage (.613), and total bases (367). He topped the circuit in six of those categories, all good enough to be named the American League MVP and the Sporting News Major League Player of the Year.

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22 Mike Garcia

He was part of the Indians' Big Four, often overshadowed by more celebrated players (Feller, Wynn, Lemon), but Garcia held his own.

He won more than 20 games twice, with one of those seasons in 1952 when he won 22 games and had a 2.37 ERA. He threw over 250 innings four times, finished ninth in the 1952 American League MVP voting, and played on the 1948 World Champion Indians team, winning 14 games and compiling a league-leading 2.36 ERA.

A true Indians great.

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23 Sam McDowell

The 1960s was the pitching decade with names like Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, and Juan Marichal. Then there's a pitcher who was just as good as them, if not better: Sad Sam McDowell. He had an overpowering fastball, an exceptional curve, and an outstanding slider.

From 1964 to 1970, Sam led the American League in strikeouts five times, was named the Sporting News American League Pitcher of the Year in 1970, played in five All-Star Games, and had his shoulder come out. If he had never drank alcohol, Sam would've been in the Hall of Fame.

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24 Hal Trosky

Once identified by Babe Ruth as the man most likely to mount a serious challenge to his then single-season home run record, Hal Trosky established himself as one of the American League's most potent batsmen during his time in Cleveland.

He hit more than 30 home runs three times, topping 40 homers once (42 in 1936). He batted over .330 four times and surpassed 200 hits twice. He holds the Indians' single-season record for most total bases (405 in 1936). Trosky led the American League in RBIs in 1936 with 162.

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25 Stan Coveleski

He played on the Indians' 1920 World Championship team. Here's his 1969 Hall of Fame Plaque: Star pitcher with a record of 214 wins, 141 losses, average .605, ERA 2.88.

He won 20 or more games in five seasons and won 13 straight games in 1925. He pitched and won three games for Cleveland in the 1920 World Series with an ERA of 0.67.

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