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Indians Indians Archive Cleveland Sports Vault: Tribe “Deep Tracks” Trivia, Vol. 3
Written by Greg Popelka

Greg Popelka

joe vosmik wikiThese forays into Cleveland Indians trivia have been a lot of fun. The intent has been to dive below the surface of Tribe history, and to dwell on characters and stories, not minutiae.

Let’s keep the party going!

1)      This Indians manager/player combination had an arrangement that worked fine, in the short term. The player, a pitcher, had been kicked off two teams for drunkenness. The Tribe skipper’s creative solution: Let him get drunk after each game pitched, and not show up the next day. On the second day, have him go to the park and run. Batting practice on the third day. Pitch on the fourth day and repeat. 

Identify this manager/player combo.

a) Alvin Dark and Sam McDowell (right)sam mcdowell topps gray border

b) Frank Robinson and Dennis Eckersley

c) Tris Speaker and “Slim” Caldwell

d) Eric Wedge and Jason Stanford


2)     Which location has not hosted Cleveland Indians’ spring training?

a) Chain of Lakes Park, Florida

b) Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

c) Hi Corbett Stadium, Tucson, AZ

d) The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH


chad ogea striding3)     For each quartet of Indians starters listed, name the season they were first four Indians starting pitchers to log wins.

a) Martinez, Morris, Nagy, Clark

b) Martinez, Clark, Nagy, Hershiser

c) Nagy, Martinez, McDowell, Hershiser

d) Ogea (right), Nagy, Hershiser, McDowell


4)      Into the middle of the 20th Century, sandlot baseball thrived in the major cities of the U.S. While the term could simply refer to kids choosing up sides and playing ball in an empty city lot, sandlot leagues were played by amateurs at an advanced level. Often, teams were formed by the factories that employed the players. (Years later, some of these fields remained and used as softball fields. Brookside Park and Morgana Park are examples of this.)

Al Milnar follow thru poseCleveland’s sandlots were a particularly vibrant incubator of major league talent.

Which of the following Indians players originally starred on the hometown sandlots?

a) Joe Vosmik

b) Ray Mack

c) Al Milnar (right)

d) Roger Peckinpaugh

e) George Uhle

f) All of the above


5)     The Indians received each of these outfielders in a trade. However, one had been “home grown”. Identify this player. (Also, can you recall the trades for each player?)

a) Kenny Lofton

joe carter fleerb) Drew Stubbs

c) Joe Carter (right)

d) Rocky Colavito

e) Grady Sizemore


6)     In the group of pitchers listed here, which one does not belong?

a) Greg Swindell

b) CC Sabathia

c) Bartolo Colon

d) Cliff Lee

e) Charles Nagy


7)     Which of these players - later managers - was not a 1988 Indians teammate of the others?

bud black upper decka) John Farrell

b) Buddy Bell

c) Terry Francona

d) Buddy Black (right)

e)Ron Washington


8)     The Indians have had a few musical artists on the roster over the years.

Match the player to his musical specialty.

a) Mudcat Grant                                            Rap

b) Jack McDowell                                         Singing

c) Omar Vizquel                                            Guitar

d) Trevor Bauer                                             Drums


albert belle alex cole9)     Who is credited with this quote: “I got the sophomore jinx out of the way and I think I’ll have my best year ever next year. There’s no junior jinx, is there?”

a) Alex Cole (right, with Albert Belle)

b) Joe Charboneau

c) Gene Bearden

d) Herb Score


10)     The person who uttered the following quote was named Toki Lockhart. She was the grandmother of which ballplayer?

“Tell (him) I’m very proud of him. I hope he does better next time.”

a) Len Barker

b) Sonny Siebert

c) Dick Bosman

d) Bob Feller


vernon stouffer11)     “Every day was Mardi Gras, and every fan a king.”

Who is this attributed to?

a) Nick Mileti

b) Vernon Stouffer (right)

c) “Sunny Jim” Dunn

d) Bill Veeck


12)     Who said, “We only hire the manager. The public fires him.”

a) Alva Bradley

b) Phil Seghi

c) Nick Mileti

d) Chris Antonetti


Julio Franco13)     Manny Trillo once said, “The best thing about baseball is that you can do something about yesterday tomorrow.”

How did the Indians acquire Trillo?

a) He was the infielder they received along with Gaylord Perry, in the deal that sent Sam McDowell to the San Francisco Giants.

b) Trillo was the first big free agent signing in history. Just prior to the 1977 season, he signed a ten-year deal with the Indians for $2.3million.

c) They received him and four other players from the Phillies, for Von Hayes. One of the other players was Julio Franco.

d) He was a heralded draft pick of the Indians- an all-star catcher as a rookie in 1970. In the Midseason Classic in Cincinnati that year, Pete Rose collided with him on a play at the plate.


14)     Who was global entertainer Bob Hope’s favorite player, from when he was a kid growing up on the east side of Cleveland? Bonus points for each of the player’s nicknames. (One was a play on his name.)

a) Stan Coveleski

bill wambsganss colorb) Bill Wambsganss (right)

c) Tris Speaker

d) Ray Chapman


15)     Bob Feller threw three no-hitters in his career. It is widely accepted that when World War II robbed Feller of three of his prime pitching years, one of the casualties was his no-hit total.

Which of the following catchers did not catch a Feller no-hitter?

a) Rollie Hemsley

b) Frankie Hayes

c) Frankie Pytlak

d) Jim Hegan


16)     Which of the following individuals never caught a ball dropped from the Terminal Tower in downtown Cleveland?

Frankie Pytlak 1939a) Rollie Hemsley

b) Frankie Hayes

c) Frankie Pytlak (right)

d) Mike Zarefoss


17)     In 1975, former Indian Kurt Bevacqua won Bazooka’s  major league bubble gum blowing contest. He represented the Milwaukee Brewers, and faced Philadelphia Phillie Johnny Oates in the final. Who was the Cleveland Indians’ champ?

a) John Lowenstein

b) Rick Manning

c) Duane Kuiper

d) Eric Raich


18)     Larry the Dog was known countrywide. Describe him.

jack graney batting smilinga) He was a St. Bernard who was the pet of the owner’s wife. Mrs. “Sunny Jim” Dunn assumed ownership of the Indians when he died. She let the dog have the run of the baseball field, and the grounds crew were charged with the duty of cleaning up “accidents”.

b) In the locker room at Cleveland’s League Park, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson had hung his favorite painting: dogs playing poker. When heading to the field for the game, each player tapped a particular Doberman Pinscher for good luck. Years later, the painting was seized as evidence in a famous gambling trial involving Jackson.

c) He was a beer vendor in the 1980s who wore his Browns ‘dawg’ gear while working at Indians games.

d) He was a bull terrier given to outfielder Jack Graney (right) by manager Napoleon Lajoie. He became the de facto mascot of the team, traveling with them.


19)     Who or what was T.J. O’Hays?

a) He was a borderline-stalker of manager Frank Robinson. He contacted the manager several times about trying out for the Indians roster.

b) It was a bar in Boston, where Sudden Sam McDowell actually worked some in the offseason- becoming the model for Sam Malone of the sitcom “Cheers.”

c) It was the real name of Morgana, the 1970s “kissing bandit” who walked onto playing fields and dramatically kissed players, managers, umpires…

lou boudreau standingd) He was one of the young players brought up to the major leagues during the ‘youth movement’ of Frank Robinson’s first year as manager.


20)     When the Indians won Game Four of the 1948 World Series, a photo was taken that made the front page of newspapers all over the country. Larry Doby, the first black player in the American League, was in a joyous embrace with a white teammate. Who was the teammate?

a) Joe Gordon

b) Lou Boudreau (right)

c) Steve Gromeck

d) Bill Veeck



Here are the answers:


1)     C. Speaker and Caldwell. Novel approach, huh? Speaker had this plan written into Caldwell’s contract. The other hurlers had their alleged battles with alcohol, but this was the duo with the plan.

 2)     D. Ohio State. Purdue was the Indians’ spring training site beginning in 1942. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had asked baseball commissioner “Kennesaw Mountain” Landis to keep big league baseball in operation, for the country’s morale. Of course, many of the stars of the game enlisted.

Landis wanted Baseball to cut back on frills, like the rest of America. He decreed that most of the teams would hold spring training roughly north of the Ohio river, and east of the Mississippi. Of course, the westernmost teams at that time were in Chicago and St. Louis.

3)     A. = 1994

B. = 1995

C. = 1996

D. = 1997

Dennis Martinez (el Presidente) was the big free agent fish caught by the Indians in 1994. During a winter trip to Jacobs Field, he noted the huge U.S. flag blowing in from the outfield. He said he wanted to see that during the season.

Orel Hershiser was brought aboard in 1995; Jack McDowell in 1996. Chad Ogea began the season as a starter in 1997.

4)     F. All of the above. In reading the seminal baseball book, “The Glory of Their Times” by Lawrence Ritter, one really gets a sense of the importance Cleveland represented in providing major league talent.

RF Joe Vosmik was a career .307 hitter over 13 big league seasons. (See photo at top, with his cap all CC Sabathia'd to the side.)

2B Ray Mack came up with SS Lou Boudreau from Buffalo’s minor league team.

P Al Milnar was a strong lefty starter who came up with the Tribe.

rocky colavito scorerocky colavito herb score 2006The popular Roger Peckinpaugh both played for and managed the Indians.

P George Uhle led the American League in wins over his career (mostly in the 1920s).

5)     D. Of course, Gabe Paul acquired a veteran Rocky Colavito in a trade that was almost as bad as the Frank Lane deal that had sent him away years earlier. Tribe fans know he had come up to the big-league Indians club with roommate Herb Score (photos).

6)      D. All of these pitchers were “home grown”, having been signed as amateurs by the Indians and having risen through the farm system- except for Cliff Lee. Lee was acquired in the deadline deal of 2002 that sent Bartolo Colon to a Montreal Expos club that was on the brink of moving, and was desperate to win-now. Along with Lee, the Indians received 1B Lee Stevens, CF Grady Sizemore, and 2B Brandon Phillips.

7)     B. Buddy Bell was an Indians player who’d one day manage, but he was not with the club in 1988. I tried to find a game in which Washington, Francona, Farrell, and Black each played, but to no avail.

8)     Mudcat Grant - Singing, eg. as “Mudcat and the Kittens”

Jack McDowell - Guitar, eg. with the group “Stick Figure”                  

Omar Vizquel - Drums

Trevor Bauer (photo) - I call it “Reynolds Rap”trevor bauer

9)     B. It is not easy giving clues on Charboneau- most anecdotes on him are well known.

In his second season, he popped something in his back while sliding into second in spring training. He still wasn’t feeling well in his third season, but that didn’t prevent him from being an optimist.

10)    A. Mrs. Lockhart was Len Barker’s grandmother, and she said this to a reporter after his perfect game.

11)    D. I know, pretty easy. All of these men were Indians owners, but Veeck had the soul of a showman.

12)    A. Alva Bradley tended to wash his hands of the situation when the going got tough. He was the owner who immediately preceded Veeck. Cleveland was referred to as the “graveyard of managers” in the years just prior to Bradley hiring SS Lou Boudreau as player-manager. He participated in the age-old cycle of replacing nice guys with fiery guys, and vice versa.

13)    C. (A. describes Frank Duffy; B. describes Wayne Garland; D. describes Ray Fosse.)   

14)    C. Hope loved Speaker. “The Gray Eagle”, or “Spoke”, played a very shallow center field- sometimes covering second base, eg. on a pickoff play. Hope recalled watching Indians games through slits and knotholes in the right field wall at League Park.

15)    D. Jim Hegan was a terrific defensive catcher, and handler of pitchers. He didn’t catch a Feller no-hitter.

16)    B. Hemsley and Pytlak each caught balls dropped from the Terminal Tower as a promotion one morning, from 3B Ken Keltner. They wore steel helmets, and the balls were estimated by engineers to be traveling over 150mph. Balls that hit the pavement bounced several stories in the air.

Zarefoss repeated the feat, in a 1970s stunt performed by professional softball team owner Ted Stepien. Stepien’s drops went wildly off target due to strong winds. One woman injured her arm as she watched with the crowd; she later sued.

17)    D. Raich was the Indians’ champ, with a bubble over 18” wide. At the time, it was the big league record!

18)    D. Graney’s dog stayed with him at motels; he walked down the steps, through the lobby and through the door on his own, and relieved himself. Graney, a long-time Tribe player and announcer (using teletype as his guide), would put Larry on the Lake Erie shore, in Ohio, near a ferry. The dog would board the ferry, getting off in Graney’s home town of London, Ontario. He’d then run the short distance home.

In 1913, Graney visited President Woodrow Wilson in Washington, D.C. The president asked about Larry, wanting to meet him. Graney told him that he’d left him behind, with a doorman.

19)    A. O’Hays seemed to amuse, or impress Robinson. He was very determined to make the team. He showed the manager his rock-throwing training regimen. When that got nowhere, he showed Robbie his alternative to the slide. As he approached a base, he stopped and turned a somersault in the air, landing at the base. It would revolutionize baseball! Fielders would shy away from such a runner.

It never quite worked out between O’Hays and the Tribe.

20)    C. However, each of these individuals were pro-Doby, right from the start. Not every Tribe member was as willing to accept a black man on the team, initially. The photo of Gromek and Doby is posted below. (Hey, look- there's Browns offensive lineman/kicker Lou Groza's locker to the left.)

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larry doby steve gromek


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