Were the 1948 World Series champions Indian cheaters? The authors make a compelling case – News-Herald

Major League Baseball’s “unwritten rules of the game” have undoubtedly created a cult atmosphere within the game.

Breaking any of the “codes” (many believe) is a sin against the game.

For example, if the team manager asks for a basketball game in retaliation for something, it is better to do it – or otherwise.

For many baseball icons, learn this (among others):

• There is a good time to steal a base, and if a runner isn’t caught at first base, you won’t steal. This is just the beginning.

• There is a good time to try hitting for the sake of hitting. Don’t even think about doing this to try to break up the hitter. no no no.

• Don’t show the opponent (for example, don’t stand for long on the house board while you’re enjoying running on his floor).

• Slide to the second base correctly – or otherwise. But sometimes, it’s OK to play hard that interrupts double play. I know it gets confusing.

• In the painting, do not dare to peek at the catcher looking for a banner.

As for stealing signals, it’s interesting, to say the least.

The Houston Astros figured it out the hard way when former bowler Mike Ferris threw the beans around the organization using technology to steal cues from the opponent during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. The fallout was the suspension of general manager Jeff Lono and manager A.J. Hinch for the 2020 season. Some wanted to strip Houston of the title World Championships in 2017.

Long before that, authors Jason Turbo and Michael Duka wrote a 2010 book, Baseball Codes, Bean Bags, Sign Stealing, and Clearing Brawls: The Unwritten Rules of America’s Fun.

Long title but appropriate to the topic. There is a long list of unwritten baseball rules, and according to Turbow and Duca reports – once someone gets into the inner circle of the majors, the sacred rules must be followed, no questions asked.

If the banners were stolen, those unwritten rules were revealed to the baseball world — and fans outside of Houston didn’t like them. The Astros have been called cheaters and booed mercilessly after the scandal, including here in Cleveland.

Which brings us to the history of baseball in Cleveland. The team is clearly no longer known as the Indians. The team now known as The Guardians is pushing towards the playoffs. If they succeed, Cleveland will attempt to win their first World Franchise Championship since 1948.

The 1948 club is admired for its brilliant finish, but according to the book “Baseball Icons,” there was more in September than just the rough play to close out the regular season.

According to research by the authors, as well as comments from Cleveland greats Al Rosen and Bob Feller, the Indians — some might say they cheated — boosted their chances late in the season en route to a one-game playoff with the Red Sox, and the subsequent victory. won by the American League flag. Then Cleveland took the World Championship, 4 vs. 2, over the Boston Braves.

Here’s how to play it, according to “Baseball Icons”:

The race in the AL between the Indians and the Red Sox was close to August but by September 6 the Red Sox had a 4.5 game lead over Cleveland, who were now third.

That’s when Bob Feller – depending on one point of view – comes to the rescue with a plan to steal signals and a (literally) weapon. Villiers, a World War II pilot, brought home a military-grade rifle sight that was 60 times larger than the naked eye.

This is an overview of the scoreboard during the World Championships, October 11, 1948 in Cleveland.  (AP Photo)
This is an overview of the scoreboard during the World Championships, October 11, 1948 in Cleveland. (AP Photo)

With 25 games to play – 21 at home – a spy station has been set up in the scoreboard at Cleveland’s local stadium with a filler rifle sight. According to Baseball Icons, among those running the scene were Feiler, bowler Bob Lemon and team keeper Woldy.

Cleveland baseball III Al Rosen was a rookie that season and was introduced to the cue-stealing operation during his Major League debut in September by manager Lou Boudreaux.

He said, ‘Do you see the scoreboard there? ‘ said Rosen. ‘Find where the run, the success, and the mistakes come in. If you see an arm hanging there, this is a sign of a curve ball. Well, that arm got down and (Yankees) Bob Porterfield threw a curve ball, which I hit left center for a two-base hit. I thought, that’s easy, boy. No wonder you guys are so good here in the big leagues. ”

More evidence from Feiler himself: “I myself called Homer Joe Gordon’s Grand Slam at a 3 and 0 account against the Red Sox. When I landed, (Red Sox) manager Joe McCarthy came up to the top of the dugout and looked at the scoreboard. He knew That it was.”

The Indians went 19-5-1 at 25 – all but four at home – to force them to a tie with the Red Sox and the playoff at (worth noting) Fenway Park.

In the World Championships against the Braves, no one would guess if the Indians continued their signal-stealing system. For what it’s worth, Cleveland won Game 2 at Fenway, 4-1, to tie the series in every game. The Indians won games 3 and 4 at home to take the lead 3-1, but lost on home soil, 11-5, in game five. They succeeded in changing the series at Braves Field with a 4-3 victory in Game 6.

Doubts about cheating after Cleveland after the world championship win. Larry Dubey hit Homer pivotal in his team’s 2-1 win in Game 4 of the series, insisting he wasn’t helped by a stolen tag.

Rosen called the signal-stealing system a “cheat and outlier,” and added, “I decided I’d rather use my own instincts on the plate than have someone tell me what’s going to happen.”

The fallout from 1948 was not over. In 1950, Red Sox manager Steve O’Neill publicized the team’s suspicions toward the Indians, who in response gave O’Neill a gift box before a game in August of that season.

Inside the box there was a set of toy binoculars.

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