Born in 1920 in San Bernardino, California, Bob Lemon's first season in the Major Leagues was with the Cleveland Indians in 1946. He was named to seven All-Star teams, and he led the league in wins three times, in complete games five times, and in innings pitched four times. He had the second-best career batting average for a pitcher and was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976.
Early Life and Career
Famed baseball player Bob Lemon was born on September 22, 1920, in San Bernardino, California. Lemon signed a contract with the Cleveland Indians in 1938, and spent several years in the minor-league system as an infielder-outfielder before joining the U.S. Navy during World War II.
After Lemon's first full season in the major leagues in 1946, Indians manager Lou Boudreau switched him to pitcher. In 1948, Lemon—who had at first resisted the change—threw a no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers and was named to the American League All-Star team. He also won Games 2 and 6 en route to the Indians' World Series win over the Atlanta Braves.
A right-hander, Lemon became part of one of the most potent pitching staffs in history, alongside Bob Feller, Mike Garcia and Early Wynn. He was named to seven All-Star teams in nine years, and he led the league in victories three times, in complete games five times, and in innings pitched four times. In 13 seasons, Bob Lemon compiled a record of 207-128 and an earned-run average of 3.23. A great all-around player, Lemon also hit 37 home runs, ranking second (behind Wes Ferrell) on the all-time list for pitchers.
Lemon finished his playing career in the minor league in San Diego, and went on to work as a scout and a manager for the Kansas City Royals and the Chicago White Sox. He was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976.
In 1978, Lemon was hired as the manager of the New York Yankees; the team staged a major league comeback to overtake the Boston Red Sox and went on to win the World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Lemon was replaced in mid-season 1979, then rehired in 1981, when he led the Yankees to an American League championship. In the middle of the 1982 season, Lemon was again fired by volatile Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, and subsequently retired from baseball.
Lemon died on September 11, 2000, at the age of 79, in Long Beach, California.
We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!