Joe Sewell was thrust into the major leagues with Cleveland following Ray Chapman’s untimely death, due to a pitch to his head in 1920. He joined the team at the end of that season and hit .329 in limited time. For the next ten seasons he played an exceptional shortstop for the Indians, and during those years he never missed a game. His 1,103 consecutive games played placed him second behind only Everett Scott at that time, and still ranks 7th all-time. But, what he his best remembered for was his uncanny ability to hit the ball. In 8,333 career ABs he struck out only 114 times. In 1932, in 576 ABs he struck out 3 times for a rate of 1 strikeout per 167.7 ABs, a major league record. His career mark of 1 K per 63 ABs is the All-Time best. During his 14 seasons with The Tribe (1920-30) and Yankees (1931-33), where he played 3rd base, he hit only 49 home runs, but with 2,226 hits he drove in 1,055 runs and scored 1,141. He topped the .300 mark 10 times, hit 40+ doubles 5 times, and finished with a .312 career average. He was a member of World Championship teams in 1920 with Cleveland, and in 1932 with the Yankees.
Joe Sewell was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1977 by the Veteran’s Committee.
January 18, 2017