With the Cleveland Indians bowing out of the postseason last night, it almost seems cruel to head there for our first stop. Well, when you consider the history the franchise would make on this date, you’ll see why it’s a must.
In 1974, the Indians tabbed Frank Robinson as their next manager as he would become MLB’s first African-American manager. Toward the end of the 1974 season, it has been said that Robinson lobbied for a trade from the California Angels to Cleveland in order to pursue his dream in attaining this distinction. Robinson would also be an active player on Cleveland’s roster for his first two seasons there. In his first at-bat in the dual role, he cracked a home run off Yankees hurler Doc Medich.
In those two seasons as a player, Robinson was primarily a designated hitter, but played in only 85 games. He produced a triple slash of .232/.366/.454 with 12 HR and 34 RBI.
In his two-plus seasons as the Tribe skipper, Robinson managed 375 games, going 186-189 over that time. After 57 games into the 1977 season, Robinson was relieved of his managerial duties and was replaced by Jeff Torborg.
Robinson replaced Ken Aspromonte at the helm after Aspromonte was let go. Aspromonte managed the Indians to a 77-85 record for the 1974 season.
Robinson would also make managerial stops in San Francisco (264-277 in 5 seasons), Baltimore (230-285 in 4 seasons), and with the Montreal/Washington franchise (385-425 in 5 seasons).
2012 – The Oakland A’s capped off their improbable run to the American League West crown as they completed a sweep of the Texas Rangers. Heading into the final series showdown, the Athletics were 2 games back in the division and only a sweep would give them the title.
After taking the first two games of the series by scores of 4-3 and 3-1, the A’s offense broke out as Oakland notched a 12-5 win. But it wasn’t that easy. After the Rangers scored five runs in the top of the 3rd, the A’s could have folded. Instead, they plated six in the bottom of the 4th and never looked back.
Also last season, Miguel Cabrera capped off a memorable season in capturing the AL Triple Crown. Despite going 0-for-2 in his final game, Cabrera would lead the AL in batting average (.330), HR (44) and RBI (139). Upon being pulled from the game by manager Jim Leyland, Cabrera received a standing ovation from the Kansas CIty crowd.
1993 – The Toronto Blue Jays become the first AL team to have players finish 1-2-3 in the race for the batting title. John Olerud would take the honors, hitting .363. Hall of Famer Paul Molitor would be second at .332 and another Hall of Famer, Roberto Alomar ended in third with an average of ,326.
1990 – George Brett sets a record by becoming the first player to win a batting title in three different decades. He ended the 1990 season with a batting average of .329. In 1976, Brett captured his first batting title when he hit .333. His second came in 1980 when he produced a .390 batting average.
On September 19 of that season, Brett was at .400, but “slumped” for the remainder of the season, hitting .304 over his final 13 games. He was also named AL MVP for the ‘80 season.