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By Marty Gitlin

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They easily led the AL in runs scored and team ERA. Belle became the first player in baseball 28 CLEVELAND INDIANS Jacobs Field is shown in April 1994 during the first regular-season game at the ballpark. The Indians began a successful period that year. history to hit 50 home runs and then took a three-games-to-two 50 doubles in the same season. lead in the AL Championship Meanwhile, wily veteran Orel Series (ALCS) against Seattle. Hershiser was added to the Leading 1–0 against the Mari- starting rotation that already ners’ intimidating ace Randy included Martinez and talented Johnson in Game 6, the Indi- Charles Nagy.

Major sports title since the “The Indians be Browns won the Super Bowl in defeated but they are not los- 1964, hope often fades away. ers, having given themselves In this era of high-priced free and their fans something in agents, Dolan felt that he could short is not afford to keep his best play- hope,” wrote Howard Bryant of ers. com. 2008. Martinez and Lee, a left- supply—and may that hander who emerged to win a Busts or Bonanzas? Only time would tell whether the Indians would reap benefits from the unpopular trades of star catcher Victor Martinez and Cy Young Award Awa d winners CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee.

P sition. He also led the AL with a whopping 134 runs and 53 doubles in 2006. But then they collapsed. They lost six of their final seven games to miss a postseason berth that seemed a certainty just a week earlier. 125 with runners in scoring position (on second or third base) and scored just 20 runs during that week. “We expected to win today,” third baseman Casey Blake said after the final game. “We Grady Sizemore helped spark the Indians in 2005. Cleveland went 93–69, but a poor finish prevented the team from making the playoffs.

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