Jim Thome (1991-2002, 2011)
This should not be a surprise given he had a statue unveiled outside
Jacobs Field Progressive Park last season. Thome was named the #7 Indian in LGT's own Top 100 series that concluded in 2014. When he reaches the MLB Hall of Fame, hopefully on the first ballot, he will complete LGT's Top 10 all being in the Hall of fame, sans the barred Shoeless Joe Jackson.
Thome was drafted in the 13th round in 1989, 333rd overall as a third baseman. It only took until 1991 before he landed in Cleveland for his first taste, but he did not stick with the club until the strike seasoned 1994 season. He helped power the offensive juggernaut lineup to the amazing AL pennant winning season in 1995. He would also be the last of the core to leave in 2002, albeit to some bad press.
He is the Tribe career leader in home runs, walks, and strikeouts. For a more in-depth analysis, please see the Top 100 story.
Albert Belle (1989-1996)
It is fitting that Belle joins Thome in this class as they were two of the most feared sluggers for those Tribe teams in the 1990s. Not only was Belle feared on the field, but his surly nature made him somewhat feared off the field as well. Belle was named the #21 Indian in LGT's own Top 100 series.
Belle was a second round pick in 1987 who was highly touted, but had already shown a proclivity for non-baseball related activities. He arrived in Cleveland in 1989, but wouldn't become a full-time player until 1991.
Belle had one of the best Indian seasons of all-time in 1995 and yet was basically blackballed out of the MVP even though he had the only 50 double, 50 home run season in baseball history. He didn't play long enough before leaving in free agency to reach any of the team top spots but does rank pretty highly on quite a few of them. For a more in-depth analysis, please see the Top 100 story.
Frank Robinson (1974-1976)
Robinson spent most of his Hall of Fame career with the Cincinnati Reds and Baltimore Orioles, becoming one of the few players in history to achieve MVPs in both leagues. He did not arrive in Cleveland until his waning playing days.
The Indians traded with the California Angels for him in September 1974, when he was already 38. General manager Phil Seghi was likely going to fire manager Ken Aspromonte after three lackluster years at the helm (220-260).
Robinson was announced as the Tribe's manager shortly thereafter, thus allowing Cleveland to once again being on the forefront of breaking barriers. Robinson was the first African-American manager in baseball. He also would be the team's first player-manager since Lou Boudreau.
He promptly homered in his first at-bat in April 1975, but his prowess as a hitter was long gone. Like Aspromonte before him, and many after him, the talent on those Cleveland teams was just not good. He was able to get the team to play right around .500 baseball but 57 games into the 1977 season he was replaced by Jeff Torborg.
His enshrining is mostly due to the breaking the color barrier for managers.
Charlie Jamieson (1919-1932)
Jamieson, nicknamed Cuckoo, was the Tribe left fielder for over a decade. He was never a feared hitter, but a very consistent player for a long time. Jamieson was named the #51 Indian in LGT's own Top 100 series.
Jamieson was one of the most popular team players from his era and was one of the best defensive outfielders of his day. For a more in-depth analysis, please see the Top 100 story.
Congratulations to all four players. Hopefully some LGTers can make the ceremony in July and report back upon it.