1975 Cleveland’s Dennis Eckersley, in his first MLB start, hurls a three-hit shutout in leading the Indians over the Oakland Athletics 6-0. Later in his career, he will become a Hall of Fame relief pitcher.
1981 Len Barker pitches the ninth perfect game in the 20th century. The Indians righty hurls the 3-0 perfecto over the Blue Jays before just 7,290 fans on a rainy night in Cleveland. Barker, the 1980 strikeout leader in the A.L., fans 11 Jays.
1995 David Bell makes his MLB debut for the Indians in a 14-7 victory over the Tigers. His appearance makes the Bells, with his father Buddy and grandfather Gus, the second three-generation family in MLB history (the Boones were the first).
The Red Sox sell Smokey Joe Wood, his arm spent at 26, to the Cleveland Indians for $15,000. He will become an outfielder after one last, losing start on the mound, and play five more years. His batting “line” for the Tribe over 470 games would be .297/.374/.431
The St. Louis Browns sign Satchel Paige. The 45-year-old pitcher had been out of MLB since last pitching for the Indians in 1949. In 1971, twenty years to the day, Paige is nominated for the Hall of Fame. On June 10 the Special Committee on the Negro Leagues will formally select the fireballer for induction.
After 9 years, the Cleveland Indians fire manager Lou Boudreau in spite of fan protest. Boudreau’s overall winning percentage is .529, but he won 92 games in a fourth-place finish. Al Lopez, who managed Double-A Minneapolis since 1948, takes over with a 2-year contract.
The first World Series game ever played in the state of Florida belongs to the Marlins. Moises Alou and Charles Johnson smack back-to-back home runs against Orel Hershiser of the Cleveland make a 7-4 winner of Livan Hernandez in Game One.
The Indians complete their surprising victory over the Yankees with a tense 4-3 win at Jacobs Field in Game Five of the Division Series. Jose Mesa saves rookie Jaret Wright’s second win of the series when he retires Bernie Williams with the tying run on second in the ninth inning.
This is the date on which Joe DiMaggio extended his hitting streak to fifty-six games with a 3-for-4 day as the New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 10-3. The next night, in front of 67,468 fans, DiMaggio went hitless against Cleveland pitchers Al Smith and Jim Bagby, Jr. to end the streak.