Pitching to the Pennant


Pitching to the Pennant

The 1954 Cleveland Indians

Edited by Joseph Wancho
Associate Editors: Rick Huhn, Leonard Levin, Bill Nowlin, and Steve Johnson

Memorable Teams in Baseball History Series

352 pages
47 photographs, 35 tables


April 2014


$29.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

April 2014


$29.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

April 2014


$29.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

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.

Author Bio

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.


"From the American League's leading hitter Bobby Avila to reserve outfielder Wally Westlake, Pitching to the Pennant: The 1954 Cleveland Indians provides biographies of the personnel who made the 1954 season a memorable one for the Indians."—Russ Crawford, Middle West Review

“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

Table of Contents

Joseph Wancho
1. Hank Greenberg
Ralph Berger
2. Al Lopez
Maxwell Kates
3. Tony Cuccinello
Barb Mantegani
4. Mel Harder
Mark Stewart
5. Red Kress
Chris Rainey
6. Bill Lobe
Joseph Wancho
7. A Seven-Year-Old’s Perspective on the 1954 Indians
David Bohmer
8. Timeline, April 13–April 30
Joseph Wancho
9. Bob Feller
C. Paul Rogers III
10. Dave Hoskins
John Watkins
11. Don Mossi
Mark Stewart
12. Hank Majeski
Mark Hodermarsky
13. Dale Mitchell
Scott Longert
14. Mike Garcia
Warren Corbett
15. Timeline, May 1–May 16
Joseph Wancho
16. Larry Doby
John McMurray
17. George Strickland
Mel Marmer
18. Cleveland Stadium (1932–96)
Tom Wancho
19. Jim Hegan
Rick Balazs
20. Timeline, May 17–May 31
Joseph Wancho
21. Dave Philley
Cort Vitty
22. Bob Lemon
Jon Barnes
23. Rudy Regalado
Steve Johnson
24. Ray Narleski
Joseph Wancho
25. Timeline, June 1–June 15
Joseph Wancho
26. Sam Dente
Jack Morris
27. 1954 Cleveland Indians by the Numbers
Dan Fields
28. Jim Dyck
Greg Erion
29. Bob Chakales
Bill Nowlin
30. Timeline, June 16–June 30
Joseph Wancho
31. Al Rosen
Ralph Berger
32. Wally Westlake
Bob Hurte
33. Dick Tomanek
Thomas Ayers
34. Dave Pope
Tom Heinlein
35. Timeline, July 1–July 13
Joseph Wancho
36. Luke Easter
Justin Murphy
37. Early Wynn
David L. Fleitz
38. Hal Naragon
Tracy J. R. Collins
39. 1954 All-Star Game
Rick Huhn
40. Timeline, July 15–July 31
Joseph Wancho
41. Al Smith
Gary Livacari
42. Vic Wertz
Mark Armour
43. Hal Newhouser
Mark Stewart
44. Bill Glynn
Richard Marsh
45. Timeline, August 1–August 15
Joseph Wancho
46. José G. Santiago Guzmán
Edwin Fernández
47. Bob Kennedy
Philip A. Cola
48. Mickey Grasso
Cort Vitty
49. Bobby Avila
John Stahl
50. Joe Ginsberg
Mel Marmer
51. Timeline, August 17–August 31
Joseph Wancho
52. Cleveland Indians World Championships, 1920 and 1948
Joseph Wancho
53. Rocky Nelson
David L. Fleitz
54. Art Houtteman
Warren Corbett
55. Bob Hooper
Joseph Wancho
56. Timeline, September 1–September 14
Joseph Wancho
57. Ken Coleman
Curt Smith
58. Jim Britt
Mort Bloomberg
59. Jimmy Dudley
Joseph Wancho
60. Timeline, September 17–September 26
Joseph Wancho
61. 1954 World Series
Jeanne M. Mallett
62. A Day in the Grandstand
Matthew Silverman
Notes and References

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