47 photographs, 35 tables
The 1954 Cleveland Indians were one of the most remarkable baseball teams of all time. Their record for most wins (111) fell only when the baseball schedule expanded, and their winning percentage, an astounding .721, is still unsurpassed in the American League. Though the season ended with a heartbreaking loss to the New York Giants in the World Series, the 1954 team remains a favorite among Cleveland fans and beyond.
Pitching to the Pennant commemorates the ’54 Indians with a biographical sketch of the entire team, from the “Big Three” pitching staff (Mike Garcia and future Hall of Famers Bob Lemon and Early Wynn), through notable players such as Bobby Avila, Bob Feller, Larry Doby, and Al Rosen, to manager Al Lopez, his coaches, and the Indians’ broadcast team. There are also stories about Cleveland Stadium and the 1954 All-Star Game (which the team hosted), as well as a season timeline and a firsthand account of Game One of the World Series at the Polo Grounds. Pitching to the Pennant features the superb writing and research of members of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), making this book a must for all Indians fans and baseball aficionados.
A member of SABR since 2005, Joseph Wancho serves as cochairman of the Minor League Research Committee and has made contributions to several books in the Memorable Teams in Baseball History series.
“The 1954 Cleveland Indians made history by dethroning the five-time consecutive World Champion New York Yankees and breaking New York’s 1927 record of 110 victories. Now the people and events that produced 111 wins are well commemorated. Congratulations to SABR and the talented members who have put these great baseball stories between two covers.”—Morris Eckhouse, author of Legends of the Tribe
“Pitching to the Pennant brought back great memories of a great baseball team that was robbed of the chance to be remembered that way.”—Les Levine, host of More Sports and Les Levine