Top 50 Cleveland Guardians

The origin of the Cleveland Indians begins in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1894, where they played in the Western League.  The franchise relocated in 1900, becoming the Cleveland Lake Shores, and eventually were an inaugural team of the American League, going through multiple name changes (Bluebirds, Broncos, Naps) before becoming the Indians for over a decade.

Cleveland would become a great sports town, but the baseball team has not given them very much to cheer for over the years.  The Indians have only won the World Series twice (1920 and 1948), with three other appearances.  

Following the 2021 Season, Cleveland changed its controversial team name to the Guardians, and this is likely how it will remain as long as the team remains on the North Shore.

This list is up to the end of the 2021 regular season.

Note: Baseball lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics, and post-season accolades.

In our eyes, Bob Feller is not just the greatest Pitcher in the history of the Cleveland Indians, but he is the greatest player ever to play for the team.  As seen by the names that follow him on this list, it wasn't an easy decision, but Feller's overall accomplishments proved just too challenging for any other Cleveland Indian to overcome.
If anyone was going to be number one on this list over Bob Feller, it is Napoleon Lajoie, who we are still openly debating whether we made a mistake on this one.
The Boston Red Sox made another regrettable trade before they jettisoned Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees.  A couple of years early, they traded Centerfielder Tris Speaker, who they asked to take a pay cut after an off-year (where he still batted .322!).  Speaker refused, and the former MVP two-time World Series Champion and was traded to Cleveland in 1916.
A two-sport star (Basketball and Baseball) at the University of Illinois, Lou Boudreau focused on Baseball, and the Cleveland Indians were blessed by that decision.
Bob Lemon sought out his baseball journey as an everyday player in the Outfield, first debuting in 1941, playing five Games that year and another five in 1942 at the Major League level.  During World War II, he joined the Military, missing three years but returned at age 25 and was set to become the starting Centerfielder.  He got off to a great start, with a spectacular diving catch saving the win for the Indians.  Despite this, the Indians had other ideas, as they needed pitching help and thought his past experience on the mound would serve the team better.  They would be right.
Stan Coveleski did not accomplish much in his brief time with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1912, and after a few years in the minors, Covelski was back and ready to dominate.
Earl Averill was the best player for the Indians throughout the 1930s, which was made more impressive as he did not make it to the Majors until he was 27.
Sam McDowell had one of the most unimposing yet correct nicknames.  When you hear the name "Sudden" Sam, you aren't sure what to think, but what does a "sudden" Pitcher mean? For McDowell, it is in reference to his rapid delivery and the strong odds that he would strike you out. 
Early Wynn was an established star with the Washington Senators, and his career achieved greater heights when he was traded to the Cleveland Indians after the 1948 Season.
A Cleveland Indian for his entire career, Mel Harder debuted for the Tribe in 1928, where he was used in relief in his first two seasons when he was on their main roster and not in the minors.
You could say that the career of Kenny Lofton might be undervalued because of the copious number of teams he played for.  Lofton suited up for 11 different teams and the Cleveland Indians three times, which of course, was where he was at his best.
A star with the Newark Eagles of the Negro Leagues, Larry Doby was the first African-American player in the American League when he debuted for the Cleveland Indians in 1947.
One of the early masters of the curveball, the entirety of Addie Joss Major League career was spent in Cleveland, a team he signed with before the 1902 Season.
Corey Kluber was one of the top hurlers in the American League throughout the 2010s, which could have happened in the NL had San Diego never traded him before he made the Majors.  Kluber came to Cleveland as part of a three-team trade in 2010, and after a few games in the next two years, he would make the starting rotation.
One of the most prolific power hitters of all-time, Jim Thome blasted 337 of his 612 Home Runs as a Cleveland Indian.
The career of “Shoeless” Joe Jackson is mostly known in Chicago for his participation (or lack thereof) in the 1919 “Black Sox” scandal.  That isn’t wrong, but it was in Cleveland where Jackson had his most productive years as a baseball player.
In the first half of the 1950s, Mike Garcia was part of an excellent pitching staff that the Cleveland Indians had that boasted Bob Lemon, Early Wynn, and Bob Feller.  Garcia was then and now in the shadows of those more prominent names, but he was a star in his own right.


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Albert Belle was the most prolific slugger for the Indians in the 1990s.  Coincidentally, he was also their most infamous player of the decade.
One of the most underrated players in Baseball's history has to be George Uhle, a Pitcher who spent most of his career with the Cleveland Indians and won an even 200 Games, 147 as an Indian.