All-Time Indians: Joe Sewell

Name: Joseph Wheeler Sewell Position: Short Stop

Number: 4 & 2
Tribe Time: 1920-1930 DOB: 10/09/1898
Accolades: Hall of Fame (1977), Top 5 MVP (1923, 1925), Top 10 MVP (1924, 1927), Top 20 MVP (1922, 1928)
Best Season (1923) 153 553 98 195 41 10 3 109 265 98 12 9 6 60% .456 .479 .353 .935 .127
Career 1513 5621 857 1800 375 63 30 869 2391 654 99 71 67 51% .383 .425 .320 .808 .105
Post Season Career 7 23 0 4 0 0 0 0 4 2 1 0 2 0% .240 .174 .174 .414 .000



Other than playing for the Tribe for a decade at an extremely above average level of play, Joe Sewell has another claim to fame. He almost never struck out. While many players who played before his time seem like they didn’t swing and miss much, it is because strike outs weren’t always recorded as an official stat. Sewell played his entire career after the point when they were, so his numbers are accurate. He really only struck out 99 times in over 1,500 games. His career average of more than 62 at bats per strike out is second ever in all of Major League Baseball history behind only Willie Keeler. From 1925 until he retired (1933), he lead the American League in this stat every single season. Sewell was also a doubles machine, leading the league in 1924 with 45 and hitting more than 40 five times during his career.

While playing for the Indians he did manage to accrue quite a lot of stats and now ranks among the top ten Indians of all time in career games played, at bats, runs, hits, doubles, runs batted in, total bases and walks. Joe Sewell was the back-up short-stop when Ray Chapman was killed by a pitch in 1920. He took over for Ray, finishing the season as starting short-stop and playing in all 7 games of the 1920 World Series, going 4 for 23. He was lucky to earn a championship ring in his rookie year, because he never got the chance to return to the playoffs with the Tribe. Joe also had the honor of playing alongside his brother, Indians catcher Luke Sewell from 1921 until 1930. Joe Sewell was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977 as an Indian by the Veteran’s Committee. He is also a member of the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame (class of 1951). Joe Sewell died in 1990.

Joe Sewell

Joseph Coblitz

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of and has been since its 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. Follow on twitter @BRBBlog.