September 18, 1938: Charley Suche
Ten years before the Indians would win their second (and most recent) World Series title, a man named Charley Suche took the mound for the Tribe. After spending four seasons in the minors, bouncing around from Fargo to New Orleans to Zanesville to Montgomery to Wilkes-Barre, he was finally ready for his shot with the big club.
Like many "cup of coffee" players, his opportunity came late in the season when the race was already decided. His Indians were facing off with the Philadelphia Athletics who were well on their way to finishing 53-99, mired in the aftermath of yet another Connie Mack firesale of a formerly dynastic roster.
Suche was the second man out of the bullpen of a game started by Bob Feller, one of the best pitchers in MLB history. He got out of a jam, coaxing a groundout from Hal Wagner to strand runners on first and second. However, things fell apart in the sixth inning as he walked three batters, allowed four hits and gave up five runs. By the time he got out of the frame, the Indians trailed 12-0.
He left with a bad taste in his mouth and a permanent stain on his career stat line. In 1.1 innings of work, he racked up a 33.75 ERA. Back to Wilkes-Barre he went in 1939, then Hartford in 1940 and Bridgeport in 1941. Never again did he sniff the big leagues. He threw just over 400 more innings in his career, and as the United States entered into World War II, he was not one of the "replacement" players who took the place of big-league regulars who served in the armed forces. At just 25, he and his generation faced the fight of a lifetime and unlike that one day he pitched in an Indians uniform, they secured a victory.