Cleveland Indians All-Time ERA Leaders
The Cleveland Indians have been a major league baseball franchise since 1901, and were known as the Cleveland Blues, Bronchos and Naps before settling on Indians in 1915. The team is a storied one and had much success in the early to mid 20th century, and also at the end of the century with two World Series appearances following a very long postseason drought. And one thing is for sure—the Tribe has always had good pitching, even in the lean years. Here is a short list of the Indians’ all-time leaders in earned run average (ERA) to date:
Addie Joss (1.89)—Addie Joss played for the Naps his entire career, from 1902 to 1910, and he ranks first in team history with a 1.89 ERA. Joss had arguably his best overall season in 1908, when he went 24-11 with a career best (and league leading) 1.16 ERA, 130 strikeouts and 9 shutouts. A season like that today would probably earn Joss not only the Cy Young, but also some serious MVP consideration.
Glenn Liebhardt (2.17)—Glenn Liebhardt pitched just four seasons in the big leagues, from 1906 to 1909, all with the Cleveland Bronchos/Naps. He ranks second in franchise history with a 2.17 earned run average. And while Liebhardt posted a career best 1.50 mark in 1906, that was in just two games. His best overall season was 1907, when he went 18-14 (career high in wins) with a 2.05 ERA and 110 strikeouts.
Vean Gregg (2.31)—Vern Gregg pitched for the Naps from 1911 to 1914, and ranks third in the team’s history with a 2.31 ERA. Gregg had his best season in 1911, when he posted career best numbers in wins (23-7) and ERA (1.80, led the American League), with 125 strikeouts. He also gave up an astoundingly low 6.3 hits per nine innings that season, which also led the AL.
Bob Rhoads (2.39)—Bob Rhoads pitched for Cleveland (Naps) from 1903 to 1909 and ranks fourth in franchise history with a 2.39 earned run average. Rhoads had a career best 1.77 mark in 1908, but his best overall season was probably 1906. That year, Rhoads went 22-10 (career high in wins) with a 1.80 ERA and 89 strikeouts (also career high).
Bill Bernhard (2.45)—Bill Bernhard pitched for the Bronchos/Naps from 1902 to 1907 and ranks fifth in the team’s history with a 2.45 ERA. Bernhard had a career best 2.12 ERA in 1903, but his best season was 1904. That year, Bernhard had career highs in wins (23-13) and strikeouts (137) with a 2.13 earned run average.