TREVOR BAUER Pitcher, Cleveland
What: “Fear the Drone”
Where: His home
Story: Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer suffered an unusual injury to his finger while repairing a drone, ahead of the biggest start of his MLB career. As he plugged in his drone, the propellers started turning at full speed and sliced his pinkie finger. Bauer was supposed to start in Game 2 of the ALCS, but that was pushed back to Game 3 because he needed stitches. What the heck is he thinking? The biggest start in his career on the horizon and he’s playing with his drone? Who doesn’t like playing with drones? It seems every Christmas, my son Andrew gets a drone which usually lasts a week or two before it’s broken, caught in a tree, or flies out of range to be lost forever. Well, at least when we plugged ours in, the power was off because as Bauer plugged in his drone, the propellers turned on at full speed, sliced his pinkie finger, and knocked him out of the biggest start of his career! Here is why I’m not pitching Game 2. 14 Take Me Out to The Ball Game Wasn’t surprised to learn that Trevor collects drones.
MLB Debut: 6/28/12
Teams played for: Arizona, Cleveland, and Cincinnati
Career Stats: 70-60, 4.04 ERA, 1,179 K
Fun Fact: In 2018, along with Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Mike Clevinger, Cleveland became the first pitching staff to have 4 starters each record over 200 strikeouts.
What: Those boots were made for walking and being bulletproof
Where: Kansas City
When: September 2004
Story: Not sure if the Tribe stopped this hazing ritual after this story, but we’re sure they made some modifications to their shenanigans. Poor Kyle was coerced into wearing a cheerleading outfit, complete with a pair of boots. As the team bus made its way from the stadium to the airport, Denney was shot by a stray bullet. Trainers had to remove the bullet from his calf; police mentioned in their investigation that the boots he had on lessened the impact of the bullet.
MLB Debut: 9/14/04
Last MLB appearance: 9/29/04
Career Stats: 1-2, 9.56 ERA, 13 K
Teams played for: Cleveland
BOB FELLER Pitcher, Cleveland
What: Hold onto that hose
Where: Training room
Story: Feller scalded himself with 200-degree water after he lost control of the hose in a whirlpool. He scalded himself from the waist down and couldn’t do anything for a week.
MLB Debut: 7/19/36
Last MLB appearance: 9/30/56
Career stats: 266-152, 3.25 ERA, 2,581 K
Teams played for: Cleveland
First-ballot Hall of Famer–1962 Accolades: 8 times All-Star, World Series champion (1948), Triple Crown–1940 (led league in wins, strikeouts and ERA), 6 times AL wins leader, AL ERA leader (1940), 7 times MLB strikeout leader, pitched three no-hitters and had 12 one-hitters.
Fun Fact: Signed as a 16-year old after his sophomore year in high 16 Take Me Out to The Ball Game school for one dollar and an autographed baseball.
Fun Fact #2: Feller’s catcher in high school was Nile Kinnick, the 1939 Heisman Trophy winner.
Fun Fact #3: In his major league debut, struck out the first three batters he faced.
Fun Fact #4: Became the first pitcher to win 24 games before the age of 21.
Fun Fact #5: Threw the only Opening Day no-hitter in major league history in 1940.
Fun Fact #6: After the bombing of Pearl Harbor became the first American professional athlete to enlist in the armed services. This is right out of the story of Roy Hobbs in The Natural: The Indians brought him to the majors in 1936 at the tender of age 17 right off the Iowa farm. He struck out 15 in his first major league start. A few starts later he fanned 17 to set the American League record. That made him one of the most famous players in the country—and he hadn’t even graduated from high school yet. In fact, when he finished up high school that winter, NBC Radio covered his graduation. How about that for a send-off from Iowa!
EARL AVERILL Center Field, Cleveland
What: Do as I say, not as I do
Where: Averill casa
Story: Averill’s 673 consecutive game streak came to an abrupt end while showing the four little Averills what not to do. It seems as he was lighting firecrackers, one exploded while he was holding it, and he suffered lacerations on his right fingers as well as burns on his face Cleveland Indians—Earl Averill 17 and chest. After several weeks he made a full recovery and was ready to start a new consecutive game streak, which did not last 673 games.
MLB Debut: 4/16/29
Last MLB appearance: 4/25/41
Career Stats: .318, 238 HR, 1,164 RBI
Teams played for: Cleveland, Detroit, Boston
CHRIS JOHNSON First Baseman, Cleveland
What: That bug will bite!
Where: Minneapolis When: 8/17/15
Story: Raise your hand if you’ve told your kids, “Watch out, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.” Johnson would definitely agree with that. He was forced out of the lineup on Saturday and Sunday because of a suspected bite from a spider at a hotel in Minneapolis. Seemed it swelled up on him; he had his hand wrapped and was put on antibiotics.
MLB Debut: 9/9/09
Last MLB appearance: 10/2/16 (one day after his 32nd birthday)
Teams played for: Houston, Arizona, Atlanta, Cleveland, Miami
Career Stats: .275, 63 HR, 339 RBI, 773 H
BRIAN GILES Outfield, Cleveland
When: 1998 season
Story: Giles was forced to sit out several games during the 1998 Cleveland Indians—Sandy Alomar 19 campaign after he sustained several spider bites. The bites were so severe that Giles required shots of antibiotics in order to recover.
MLB Debut: 9/16/95
Last MLB appearance: 6/18/09
Career Stats: .291, 287 HR, 1,078 RBI
Teams played for: Cleveland, Pittsburgh, San Diego
Accolades: 2 times All-Star
SANDY ALOMAR Catcher, Cleveland
What: You’re 6’5”, Sandy, buy a truck for long road trips
Story: The author (Dave Berger) worked at a nightclub in downtown Cleveland as a valet and had the pleasure of driving Alomar’s sports car. The only problem with that is that Alomar drove the same car to spring training in Florida, which was 1,082 miles. When he got to Florida, he had a very sore back.
MLB Debut: 9/30/88
Last MLB appearance: 9/30/07
Career Stats: .273, 112 HR, 588 RBI
Teams played for: San Diego, Cleveland, Chicago White Sox, Colorado, Chicago White Sox, Texas, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, New York Mets
Accolades: AL Rookie of the Year (1990), Gold Glove Award (1990), 6 times All-Star
Fun Fact: Is the first catcher in major league history to start an All-Star game and win Rookie of the Year as well as a Gold Glove.
Fun Fact #2: Third catcher in history, besides Carlton Fisk and Johnny Bench, to win a Gold Glove in his rookie year.