SHL: “Indians Win It! Indians Win It! Oh My God, The Indians Win It!” (Plus SHL MVP & Cy Young Thoughts)
Since there hasn’t been a World Series Champion in Cleveland since 1948, it’s Harry Doyle (played by Bob Uecker) of Major League that captures the tone of Joe Posnanski’s roster of historical Indians who took down the first ever Seamheads Historical League title four games to one over the Bill James-built roster of Boston Red Sox.
The tandem of Hall of Famers Addie Joss and Gaylord Perry managed to collect all four wins of the Series with Joss’ 10-inning complete game in Game Four being the highlight. The Indians nearly swept the series. Closer Doug Jones allowed two runs in the ninth inning of Game ThreeÂ of the Series and, after the Indians tied it back up in the ninth with two runs off of Jonathan Papelbon, Jones walked Billy Goodman and Carlton Fisk doubled to score Goodman and give the Red Sox a 6-5 lead which they held on to for their only win.
In the fifth and final game, Perry faced off with Boston’s Cy Young. Despite Young’s amazing regular season performance, Perry stepped up and outdueled the fellow Hall of Famer with an eight inning outing that gave the Indians a 5-3 win. The Indians drew first blood in the bottom of the second with a three-run rally started by a throwing error by catcher Carlton Fisk on an Albert Belle nubber. BelleÂ moved to third on a Hal Trosky single and scored on a Joe Sewell grounder. A Sandy Alomar double scored Trosky and, after a Perry sacrifice bunt, a Wade Boggs error on a Nap Lajoie error put the Indians up 3-0 early.
In the top of the fourth, the Red Sox bounced back with three of their own. A Reggie Smith RBI-single and a two RBI-single by Fisk got virtual Red Sox Nation on their feet.
The potent Indians lineup bounced back in the fifth with two more runs. Joe Jackson’s RBI triple — his 21st RBI of the postseason –Â scored Tris Speaker (Speaker hit .478 in the postseason)Â and Jim Thome followed with a double to score “Shoeless” Joe — all hits with two outs — and give Cleveland a 5-3 lead.
The Indians’ pitching held from there. Perry allowed just two hits in the next three innings and was helped by two double plays. In the ninth, closer Jones was bailed out of trouble byÂ Jackson who threw out Boston’s Smith trying to go first to third on a Jimmie Foxx single for the final out at third… and the win for the Indians!
Congratulations to Joe Posnanski and his team of historical Indians who made Seamheads history with their inaugural league crown!
While the official decisions haven’t been made, I thought I’d weigh in with my thoughts on who were the league’s MVP and Cy Young, too:
Gehrig’s Yankees did not live up to expectations but “The Iron Horse” sure did. Gehrig took down the batting title with a .365 average, led the league in on-base percentage (.439), OPS (1.037) and total bases (353). He also finished second in RBI with 136 and was considered to have the most Value Over Replacement Player with an 86.0 VORP (Teammate Babe Ruth was second with a 68.0 VORP!) Gehrig impressed with 28 homers, scored 126 times, hit over .300 in every month of the season and, in true Gehrig-fashion, played every game of the season.
How fitting is it that Cy Young win the award named after him in the first-ever Seamheads Historical League? The award wouldn’t beÂ some hokey tributeÂ either. The Red Sox posted the league’s best regular season record at 103-51 and Young was their best pitcher. Like he did in the record books with 511 career wins, Denton True “Cy” Young led all of the SHL with 27 wins paired with just five losses. His 27-5 record wasn’t the only impressive number Young put up. He tied for the league lead in complete games with 19 and finished second in ERA (2.65) and second in innings pitched (291-2/3). Just another year at the ballpark for the great Hall of Famer.