He was the heart and soul of Cleveland's last World Series winner. On Saturday, his likeness was immortalized for all eternity.
The Indians unveiled a bronze statue of former shortstop and manager Lou Boudreau before Saturday's game against the New York Yankees. On hand were more than 70 members of the Boudreau family (including son Lou Jr.) and the entire Tribe team.
Boudreau, who died in 2001, spent 13 of his 15 major league seasons in Cleveland. He was the most consistent hitter in the Indians lineup throughout the 1940s, and his career fielding percentage of .973 was tops all-time among shortstops at the time of his retirement in 1952.
His best season by far came in 1948, when as player-manager he hit .355 with 116 runs scored and 106 RBIs to lead the Indians to a World Series championship. He also struck out just nine times in 560 at-bats and was named American League MVP.
Boudreau also managed both the Indians and Red Sox for 12 seasons (10 as player-manager), where he pioneered the art of the infield shift. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1970.
The statue is the fifth in Indians franchise history: Boudreau joins fellow Hall of Famers Bob Feller and Larry Doby outside the left field gate, while a statue of former Tribe player-manager Frank Robinson was unveiled in Heritage Park earlier this year. Additionally, future Hall of Famer Jim Thome's statue was moved inside the stadium to make room for Boudreau's.
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