The Cleveland Guardians have been home to some of the biggest names in baseball history.
The Cleveland Guardians have been home to some of the biggest names in the history of the game. Albert Belle, Jim Thome, Sandy Alomar, Bob Feller, Kenny Lofton, and a slew of others. These are names that fans of all ages remember. Since the 1990s, the club has perpetually been home to some of baseball’s all-time greats.
We know who the club’s best players are. Both all time and currently. The likes of Jose Ramirez, Corey Kluber, and C.C. Sabathia are names everyone knows. Yet, what about those big names that stopped over in Cleveland only briefly?
We know about the more recent players like Jason Giambi and Johnny Damon, but we’re going to look even further back. We’re looking at players who fans may not remember got their big break, or their final bow in Cleveland.
It’s not so much about what these players did while in Cleveland, but what they did historically in the game of baseball. So even if they barely did anything while in Cleveland, they’re getting the spotlight today, because the history of this club is long and impressive, and sometimes it’s good to just remember what happened before.
The great Satchel Paige played three seasons in Cleveland but only two with the club that would become the Guardians. He was largely known for his play in the Negro League, and despite being 42 years old when he finally got to the Majors with Cleveland, he still put up two great seasons.
He went 10-8, with an ERA of 2.78 and 97 strikeouts in 52 games, 40 of which came as a reliever.
His arrival in Cleveland marked the seventh time a black player had joined the Majors but the first time a black pitcher had done so. Paige would leave baseball for a year, and then go on to pitch three more years where he was an All-Star for the first time in his career with the St. Louis Browns.
He’d lastly pitch for the Kansas City Athletics in 1965, making him among the oldest players in the history of the game at 59 years old. He only pitched in one game, where he went three innings, and it was mostly a promotional stunt but he still handled the Boston Red Sox pretty handily.