Let us take a minute to put the 2011 Cleveland Indians in a historical perspective. They’ve already notched the most April wins in franchise history at 18-8. Their May 1 victory against the Detroit Tigers sends them to 19-8, with a 13-game home winning streak that ties the 1996 Indians for the second-longest home streak in club history. The Indians are also off to their best home start in 70 years – they are 13-2 at home for the first time since 1941. I want to further analyze that last statistic to provide some context.
- The Indians won two World Series in franchise history – one in 1920, and one in 1948. (A drought of 62 years and counting) So the last time they had this opening home record, they only had one world title under their belt.
- The last time the Indians started 13-2 at home, they played most of their games at League Park. This is two stadiums ago.
- Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941, meaning that the United States had not yet entered World War II the last time the Indians had this hot of a start.
- The roster included names such as Bob Feller, Steve Gromek, Lou Boudreau, Bob Lemon, and Jim Hegan – players that were also on the 1948 World Series team. The team was owned by Alva Bradley and was managed by Roger Peckinpaugh. They finished with a 75-79 record (42-35 at home). Their hot start that season was tempered by several multiple-game losing streaks throughout the season.
- Cleveland had a population of 878,336 in the 1941 census, making it the sixth largest city in the country. In the 2010 census it was listed at 396,815, making it the 45th largest city in the nation. People wonder why nobody attends Indians games – it’s because everyone left Cleveland!
- Most fans listened to those games on the radio, since televisions were not prevalent in most American homes.