Game 116

August 17, 1933 – Earl Averill Hits for the Cycle

On this Thursday afternoon Monte Pearson was throwing for the Tribe against George Earnshaw and the rest of Connie Mack’s Athletics. The game was in the newly-opened Municipal Stadium where the outfield was immense. 

Earl Averill got the first hit of the game–a two-out double into left field in the bottom of the first. Joe Vosmik sent him some with a single into center field. Averill came around to score before Vosmik was put out at second trying to stretch the single into a two-bagger. 

Bill Cissel had a two-run homer for the Indians in the bottom of the third. Again with two outs, Averill knocked one into right field. By the time the Athletics Lou Finney ran it down, Averill was safe at third. Once again, Vosmik pushed Averill across the plate with a single. The third ended with the score Indians 4, A’s 0. 

The A’s sent nine men to the plate in the top of the fifth, scoring three runs on four hits to cut the Tribe lead to one run. 

The Indians countered by sending thirteen batters to the plate in the bottom of the fifth. Earl followed Milt Galatzer’s walk and a sac bunt by Bill Cissel. He singled into right and advanced to second on a throwing error. As the eleventh man up, Averill walked in his fourth appearance. The Tribe scored seven runs on eight hits in the inning, bringing the score to 11-3. 

In the bottom of the seventh with Cissel on second, Averill clubbed a home run over the Muni Stadium wall, completing the Indians first cycle since Bill Bradley in Game 136 of 1903.

Dib Williams had an RBI single for the A’s in the top of the eighth, but the A’s would not threaten as Monte Pearson went the distance for the complete game win with a final score of 15-4. 

Averill’s cycle was the 62nd in major league baseball since 1901. It was the second of nine cycles to date in Indians history. 

Baseball Reference Box Score

Honorable Mention: August 12, 2004 – Ben Broussard Hits Second Pinch-Hit Grand Slam

Kerry Lightenberg walked in the tying run by issuing a bases-loaded free pass to Casey Blake. The Blue Jays made a pitching change and Ben Broussard stepped in against Vinnie Chulk. Broussard took Chulk’s 1-1 pitch deep for his second pinch-hit grand slam of the season.

He is one of five players to hit two pinch-hit grand slams in a season along with Darryl Strawberry in 1998, Brooks Conrad in 2010, Mike Ivie in 1978, and Davey Johnson in 1978. 

Baseball Reference Box Score


Game 60

June 23, 1931 – 23-0 over Boston in Doubleheader

The Indians were originally scheduled to face the Red Sox at League Park on Tuesday afternoon, June 23rd 1931. The game originally scheduled for May 11th was postponed due to threatening weather, and June 23rd became a traditional doubleheader consisting of Games 59 and 60.

Game 59 was something of a pitcher’s duel for the first 6 innings. In the bottom of the 6th the Indians broke the ice when Johnny Hodapp got caught in a pickle attempting to steal second. Ed Morgan was able to score from 3rd before the Sox tagged Hodapp out.

photo: johnnyhodapp.com

The Tribe scored 8 runs on 9 hits in the bottom of the 8th. Ultimately, Clint Brown threw a 5-hit shutout for the Tribe while the Indians manufactured thirteen runs in the final three innings.

Baseball Reference Box Score – Game 59

In the second leg of the doubleheader, pitcher Willis Hudlin was even more brilliant. He threw a complete game 1-hit shutout. No Boston baserunner ever made it past first.

Earl Averill hit 7 for 10 combined over the two games, with 4 RBI. His two-run double to right field in the bottom of the third basically put the game out of reach for the scuffling Red Sox.

Scorecard for Game 60, 1931

They hit 15 for 27 with runners in scoring position–always a recipe for success. Perhaps most interesting is the fact that the Tribe scored 23 runs in the two games combined with no home runs.

How often have the Indians put up consecutive double-digit scores in consecutive shutouts? Twice. 87 years later, the 2018 Indians beat the White Sox 12-0 in Game 73 and the Tigers 10-0 in Game 74. With the decline of double-headers, the likelihood of seeing a repeat of 1931 seems infinitesimally small.

Baseball Reference Box Score – Game 60


Game 31

May 29, 1934 – Earl Averill Walkoff Double in Extras

Connie Mack’s Athletics were wrapping up a weekend series at League Park on this Monday afternoon. The A’s had some outstanding athletes on the roster in 1934 and some even more outstanding names such as Doc Cramer, Pinky Higgins, and Rabbit Warstler.

Warstler led off the game with a single off Indians starter Oral Hildebrand. Warstler stole second and was driven home when Jimmie Foxx sent Hildebrand’s first pitch over the League Park wall.

With two outs in the bottom of the first, the “Earl of Snohomish” answered with a home run of his own. In the bottom of the second, Hal Trosky tied the game with an RBI double.

The A’s would pull ahead again in the top of the 4th with Rabbit Warstler once again leading off with a double. Jimmie Foxx would once again drive him home with an inside-the-park home run.

Indians right fielder Bob Seeds walked to lead off the bottom of the third. Bill Kickerbocker moved seeds over with a single to right field. Averill grounded to short, scoring Seeds. Knickerbocker was forced out at second. Joe Vosmik and Odell Hale got aboard to load the bases, and then A’s pitcher Johnny Marcum hit Frankie Pytlak, forcing Averill home and tying the game.

Hildebrand would not give up another hit until the top of the 8th–a double by Johnny Marcum that was ultimately harmless.

Monte Pearson replaced Hildebrand on the mound for the Tribe in the 9th. With two outs, Pearson walked Foxx and then gave up the tying run via a triple by A’s shortstop Eric McNair. Pearson got Lou Finney to groundout to end the inning.

The Tribe were unable to score in the bottom of the 9th, stranding Frankie Pytlak on third and forcing extra innings. Pinky Higgins led off the A’s half of the 10th with a double, but Pearson was able to retire the next three A’s without incident.

In the bottom of the 10th, Bill Knickerbocker poked a single to center field. Earl Averill stepped in and knocked a double into left field. Kickerbocker hustled around to score from first and end the game. Averill’s three hits, three RBI, and one intentional walk were key in securing the extra-inning win and the series sweep of the As.

Averill’s career total of 226 homers was a franchise record for 55 years and has only been surpassed by Jim Thome (337), Albert Belle (242), and Manny Ramirez (236).

Jason Pierre-Paul could take a page out of Averill’s book. Just before Fourth of July 1935, Averill was lighting fireworks with his children and one exploded while he was holding it. He suffered burns to his face, chest, and hands. He still hit .288 for the season and made the All-Star team.