The Cleveland Indians might not remember their last World Series celebration. But a 95-year-old guy in Fort Worth does.
“In the dining car was where all the celebration took place,” first baseman Eddie Robinson tells the New York Daily News. “There was champagne dripping from the ceiling. That was a madhouse.” Back in Cleveland Robinson and his teammates drove around the city in the backs of convertibles as fans cheered them as they passed.
Robinson played alongside Satchel Paige, Bob Feller, Larry Doby, Lou Boudreau, Ray Boone, and Bob Lemon on that championship team. He batted .300 with a six hits and an RBI in the four-games-to-two triumph over the Boston Braves in the Fall Classic. The Baseball Almanac recalls his postseason play. But his old team does not.
“That’s the funny thing about it,” the career .268 hitter told the Daily News. “I haven’t heard a damn word from Cleveland. Not a word.”
Perhaps the franchise deserves forgiveness here. Before the season started, the city last won a championship in 1964. Few expected the Indians to win the AL pennant, even after the regular season ended. And 1948? That’s a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Robinson played or coached for the other seven original eight of the American League since then. Chances are the former first baseman’s digits (which began with letters in 1948) got lost in migration from the Rolodex to the contacts list.
How long ago did the Indians win?
Americans feared polio but not AIDS, saw milk men but not malls, and listened to big band but not rock ‘n’ roll 68 years ago. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer reigned atop the bestseller list the day the Indians won the World Series. Bing Crosby and Betty Grable commanded the most bling at the box office. Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy, and Joseph McCarthy all served in their first terms in their respective houses of Congress. The Russians didn’t have nukes, the Communists didn’t have China, and 99.6 percent of Americans didn’t have televisions.
Teammate Russ Christopher died in 1954. Indians third baseman Al Rosen died last year. And everyone else, save for the first baseman, passed in between. Robinson remains the only one left from the last time the Cleveland Indians won the World Series.
“I’m disappointed,” he tells the Daily News about not hearing from his old team. “It just seems like they would want to talk to any member of the ’48 team, let the press talk to them. I don’t understand it. Maybe they’ll get in touch with me.”