I recently wrote about those who played for the Indians at the age of 40 (or older), so perhaps with my birthday around the corner, I've got age on my mind, because today I'm looking into the oldest living former Indians. This actually started when I read Dean's post on how the 1954 Indians were built, because I found myself wondering how many players from that team are still living (there are 7, it turns out).
Oldest living Cleveland Indians:
10 Ed Fitz Gerald (May 21, 1924; 89 years old)
Fitz Gerald (two words) appeared in 49 games for the Indians in 1959. The catcher collected 35 hits, including 1 home run.
9) Al Cihocki (May 7, 1924; 89 years old)
Cihocki played in the minor leagues until 1958, but his only time in the Majors came with the Indians in 1945, when the infielder played in 92 games, collect 60 hits and driving in 24 runs.
8) Al Rosen (February 29, 1924; 89 years old)
Rosen spent his entire career (1947-1956) with the Indians, and is one of the greatest players in franchise history. The 1953 American League MVP played in 1,044 regular season games, with 1,063 career hits, including 192 home runs. He is one of just two living members of the 1948 World Series winners.
7) Bob Kuzava (May 28, 1923; 90 years old)
Kuzava pitched for the Indians in 1946 and 1947, though he appeared in only 6 games, winning 2 of them and striking out 16.
6) Ralph Kiner (October 27, 1922; 91 years old)
The third-oldest living Hall of Famer (Bobby Doerr is the oldest, at 95), Kiner spent the last season of his career (1955) with the Indians, appearing in 113 games and collected 78 hits, including 18 home runs.
5) Sam Mele (January 21, 1922; 91 years old)
Mele appeared in 57 games for the Indians, all in 1956, mostly as a left fielder. He had 29 hits with the team, including 4 home runs. He was only 32 years old that season, but a bad back forced him into retirement.
4) Eddie Robinson (December 15, 1920; 93 years old)
Robinson appeared in 8 games for the Tribe in 1942, which gives him the distinction of having played for the Tribe longer ago than any other living person. He missed the next three seasons while serving in the Navy, returned to the Indians in 1946, and was the first baseman for the 1948 World Champions, collecting 6 hits in the World Series, including an 8th inning single off Warren Spahn that knocked in what proved to be the game and series-winning run in Game 6. He was then traded away, but returned for 19 games in 1957. Robinson appeared in 264 regular season games for the Indians, with 222 hits, including 34 home runs.
3) Wally Westlake (Novemer 8, 1920; 93 years old)
Weslake played for the Indians from 1952 to 1955, serving as a platoon outfielder for the team. He had one hit during the 1954 World Series, and 156 hits in his 212 regular season games with the Tribe, including 21 home runs.
2) Tom Jordan (September 5, 1919; 94 years old)
Jordan appeared in 14 games for the Indians in 1946, as a catcher. He had 16 hits with the team, including 2 triples.
1) Eddie Carnett (October 21, 1916; 97 years old)
The fifth-oldest living MLB player (Connie Marrero is the oldest, at 102), Carnett appeared in 30 games for the Indians at the start of 1945, before being drafted into the Navy. His 16 hits with the Tribe aren't much, but Carnett (who pitched and played first base and the outfield) made his biggest contribution to the Indians while at Great Lakes Naval Base, near Chicago, where he helped young Bob Feller work on the slider he was developing.