A fixture on the Cleveland Indians' pitching staffs during the 1940s and 1950s, Bob Lemon would begin his career as a utility player for the Tribe before joining the U.S. Navy during World War II, converting to a pitcher in the process. In 1948, Lemon would help Cleveland win its first World Series since 1920, as he collected two pitching victories. A 7-time American League All-Star, Lemon would win 20 or more games seven times in his career and retire with a lifetime 207-128 record. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976.
I completed this sketch card in December 2012.
10 random facts about Bob Lemon
- Lemon's Major League debut came not as a pitcher, but as a third baseman on September 9, 1941.
- Lemon was the MLB leader in shutouts during the 1948 season, with 10.
- During the 1954 season, Lemon had a career-best 23–7 win-loss record as the Indians set a 154-game season AL-record win mark with 111 victories.
- A durable pitcher, he led the American League in complete games on 5 separate occasions.
- Lemon retired in 1958 with 207 wins, all but ten of them occurring in a ten-year span.
- He was a 3-time winner of the American League Pitcher of the Year Award (1948, 1950, 1954).
- He recorded 274 hits in 1,1883 at-bats (.232), and his 37 career home runs are second on the all-time career list for pitchers (behind Wes Ferrell's 38).
- He was named Manager of the Year with both the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees.
- He was named Yankees manager during the 1978 season, and proceeded to lead the team to the World Series title that year. By doing so, Lemon became the first AL manager to win a World Series after assuming the managerial role in the middle of a season.
- The Indians organization retired Lemon's jersey number - 21 - in 1998, making him the sixth Indian to receive the honor.