Tribe hosts last living member of '48 champs

Robinson, who collected decisive hit in clincher, will attend Game 6

Tribe hosts last living member of '48 champs

CLEVELAND -- The last living member of the Indians' 1948 World Series championship team will be in the stands hoping to see his old team win it all again.

Eddie Robinson, who drove in the decisive run in Cleveland's clinching victory over the Boston Braves in Game 6 of the '48 Fall Classic, has been invited by the Indians to attend Game 6 of the World Series against the Cubs on Tuesday night. Robinson and his wife, Bette, flew to Cleveland from their home in Texas on Monday and will be hosted in a suite during the game. The Indians lead the Cubs, 3-2, in the best-of-seven set.

"That was such an exciting time," said Robinson, discussing the 1948 campaign in an interview over the weekend with MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM . "All we wanted to do was win the American Legaue pennant. Once we did that, we were a little bit free and easier in the World Series."

Game Date Matchup Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 25 CLE 6, CHC 0 video
Gm 2 Oct. 26 CHC 5, CLE 1 video
Gm 3 Oct. 28 CLE 1, CHC 0 video
Gm 4 Oct. 29 CLE 7, CHC 2 video
Gm 5 Oct. 30 CHC 3, CLE 2 video
Gm 6 Nov. 1 CHC 9, CLE 3 video
Gm 7 Nov. 2 CHC 8 CLE, 7 (10) video

This year's Indians squad cruised to an AL Central title before dispatching of the Red Sox and Blue Jays on their way to the franchise's first World Series appearance since 1997. The '48 Cleveland club that featured Robinson -- along with stars Bob Feller, Lou Boudreau, Larry Doby and others -- ended the season tied with the Red Sox for the AL crown, forcing a one-game playoff at Fenway Park.

Shop for Indians World Series and AL champs gear

Robinson, 95, recalled that the Indians had to travel overnight from Cleveland to Boston, where the Tribe took down the Red Sox on Oct. 4, 1948, to earn a spot in the World Series. With the pennant in hand, the Indians stuck around to play the National League-champion Braves two days later in Game 1 of the Fall Classic.

"That was a tough year," Robinson said. "That whole year was a nip-and-tuck year with the Yankees and the Red Sox. Philadelphia was in the mix and Cleveland. All year was tough. All we had to do was beat Detroit on a Sunday and we had it clinched, but Hal Newhouser beat us and we lost the toss. After the game, we just got on the train and went to Boston and the next day we got there at 8 o'clock in the morning, checked in the Kenmore hotel and went to the ballpark and won, 8-3.

"Then the Braves had won the National League, so we just stayed in Boston. Our wives brought our clothes to us. We didn't take any clothes with us. We didn't know if we'd be coming back the next day or not. They brought our clothes and we had to stay there in Boston. It was eventful."

During that historic season for Cleveland's franchise, Robinson hit .254 with 16 home runs and 83 RBIs in 134 games as the starting first baseman. The four-time All-Star then went 2-for-4 with an RBI single off Warren Spahn in Game 6 of the World Series. His run-scoring hit gave the Indians a 4-1 lead in the eighth inning, proving to be the difference for Cleveland.

Robinson suited up for the Indians in parts of the 1942, '46-48 and '57 seasons. During the '57 campaign, he also had a stint with Baltimore, where he was teammates with Tito Francona, the former Indians outfielder and father of current Indians manager Terry Francona.

"Tito and I were good friends," Robinson said. "He hit with a flat bat. One of the few guys who did. But he was a good hitter and a very good teammate, and I think his son is one [heck] of a manager."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.