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.


  • Hey, welcome to the SweetSpot Network, you two! Looking forward to reading more from you and congrats on the hot start to 2011.

  • Daniel S. says:

    I’ve been trying to come up with reasons why the Indians are faulted and their start is a fluke — like I do with my Royals — but unlike my Royals, there are a ton less reasons to do so. I’m interested in their AL East-heavy May schedule to see how well they do, although disappointingly, they won’t play the Yankees (or the Rangers) until June.

    • The Royals offense is pretty awesome. If their pitching holds, it may not be a fluke.

      I know the 1941 Indians didn’t really start to tank until August.

  • Rob O. says:

    One of your stats is wrong. The Indians won 18 in a row at home in 1994.


  • Andy says:

    Cleveland is the 14th largest market in the company. Yes, Cleveland has declined since 1941, but I’m sure it’s a larger market than it was then. Market/metro size is more important than city size.

    • Yes…I actually made the comment in a tongue and cheek manner. I’m just still a little shocked since the 2010 census figures came out and Cleveland dropped below 400,000 for the first time since 1900. Not all of that population was lost to the suburbs either…much of it just left the state.

  • DF says:

    You should probably clarify that a lot of people who have left Cleveland have simply moved to the suburbs, which are not part of Cleveland. Most out of towners would see the stats you mentioned and think our city is now a tiny little entity of less than 400,000. They don’t realize that Northeast Ohio, which is the real population benchmark, is 2.5 nillion people. Now that your blog is national, you have to explain things for the out of towners!