All-Time Indians: Bob Lemon

Name: Robert Granville Lemon Position: Starting Pitcher

Number: 21
Tribe Time: 1941-1942, 1946-1958 DOB: 09/22/1920
Accolades: Hall of Fame (1976), Retired #21, 7 Time All-Star (1948-1954), Top 5 MVP (1940, 1950, 1954)
Stats W L W% ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP K/9 BAA
Best Season (1952) 22 11 0.667 2.50 42 36 28 5 4 309 236 104 86 15 105 131 1.10 3.8 0.203
Career 207 128 0.618 3.23 460 350 188 31 22 2,850.1 2,559 1,185 1,024 180 1,251 1,277 1.34 4.0 0.230

 

There were 8 players who participated on both the 1948 and 1954 Cleveland Indians World Series teams. Three of those players are among the six Indians to ever have their number retired. Of those players, Bob Lemon was possibly the most impressive in the post season. In 1948 when Indians ace, Bob Feller, uncharacteristically struggled (0-2, 5.03 ERA), Lemon came through with half of the four wins the Indians needed to win the series. He not only won both his starts, but pitched a total of 16.1 innings and only allowed 3 runs. This was just his third season as a pitcher in the pros as he did not pitch during his first two seasons with the Tribe.

Lemon wasn’t bad during the regular season either, amassing more than 20 wins 7 times during his career. During his 15 seasons he was able to acrue some incredible numbers as well and is currently ranked among the top five Indians pitchers all time in wins, losses, games played, starts, complete games, shutouts, innings pitched, hits, runs, home runs allowed as well as strikeouts. His ERA of 3.23 is very respectable, especially considering that he played his entire career in an Indians uniform, including his final two seasons when he went 6-12 in just 32 games.

The fact that Bob Lemon isn’t usually brought up in the conversation about the greatest Indians pitcher of all time is a testament to the fantastic pitching over the history of the Cleveland Indians. Like Lemon, there were a number of other great pitchers who played their entire careers with the Tribe including Feller, Addie Joss and Mel Harder. To honor him, Lemon’s number 21 has been retired and he has been enshrined in the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame (class of 1960). He was elected to the MLB Hall of Fame in 1976 for his long career as an Indian. Bob Lemon died in 2000.

Bob Lemon

Joseph Coblitz

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since it's inception in 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona the Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians.

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