As of this writing, the last time the Cleveland Indians won a World Series was in 1948, which means that despite their loss to the Chicago Cubs in 2016, there's technically no reason to believe in a "Curse of Chief Wahoo," the team's toothy, red-faced, and obviously offensive logo. That's because depictions of Native Americans swinging baseball bats—in feathered headgear and fringed-leather pants, no less—had been a staple of Cleveland Indians scorecards since the 1920s, while the first caricature of the Chief himself appeared in 1947. Therefore, if the curse had existed, how does one explain the team's World Series victory over the Boston Braves?

Well, the team's absence from post-season glory for 68 years could have been due to a lack of pitchers like Bob Lemon, Bob Feller, and Satchel Paige. The right-handed, slider-throwing Lemon did not get as much acclaim during the regular season as teammate Feller, but Lemon won both of the games he threw in the '48 series, while Feller lost his two starts. As for Paige, he made history by becoming the first African American to pitch in a World Series game.

In subsequent decades, the Indians traded away some of the best players in baseball, including Roger Maris (who broke Babe Ruth's single-season home-run record), Rocky Colavito, Tommy John, and Dennis Eckersley. But in a way, the Cleveland Indians have left their mark on every team in baseball, since the annual award for the best pitcher in the American and National Leagues is named after perhaps the greatest Cleveland pitcher, Cy Young.


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