In 1981, when the player strike split the season into two parts, Gene Michael managed the Yankees to a first-half division lead, but when the team faltered in the second-half after the strike, Bob Lemon (who managed the club in 1978-79) returned as manager on September 6, 1981. The second-half ends with the Yankees only 2 games above .500
However, Lemon led the Yankees to victory in the divisional playoff against second-half winner Milwaukee and then a three-game sweep of Oakland in the LCS.
The Yankees lost the World Series to the Dodgers in six games. When New York started slowly in 1982, Lemon was again replaced as manager, this time by Gene Michael.
Bob Lemon Career Statistics:
RHP-3B 1941-42, 46-58 Indians
* 20 Wins 1948-50, 52-54, 56
* Led League in Wins 1950, 54-55
* Led League in K's 1950
* All-Star 1948-54
* Hall of Fame 1976
Career Pitching Regular Season:
Innings Pitched - 2,850
W/L - 207 - 128
ERA - 3.23
Career Pitching World Series:
Innings Pitched - 30
W/L - 2 - 2
ERA - 3.94
Games - 615
Batting Average - .232
Hr's - 37
RBI - 147
Career Managerial Statistics Regular Season:
Manager in 1970-72, 77-79, 81-82 Royals, White Sox, Yankees
W/L - 432 - 401
Winning % - .519
Career Managerial Statistics League Championship Series:
W/L - 6 - 1
Winning % - .857
Career Managerial Statistics World Series:
W/L - 6 - 6
Winning % - .500
In 1947 Bob Lemon was 11-5 and became the Indians' second most effective starter behind Hall of Famer Bob Feller.
Cleveland won the 1948 pennant, as Feller, Lemon, and rookie Gene Bearden combined for 59 wins. Lemon, at 20-14, led the AL in shutouts (10), complete games (20), and innings pitched (294). On June 30, he threw a no-hitter to top the Tigers 2-0. In the World Series, he picked up two wins (1.65 ERA) as the Indians defeated the Braves.
Lemon became the leader of the outstanding Indians pitching staffs of the 1950s that also included Feller, Early Wynn, Mike Garcia, and later Herb Score. In a remarkably consistent nine-year stretch (1948-56), Lemon won 20 or more games seven times. He missed the magic number only in 1951 with 17 victories and 1955 when his 18 wins topped the league. A workhorse, he led in complete games five times and innings pitched four. TSN named him the Outstanding AL Pitcher three times (1948, 50, 54).
The 1954 Indians set an AL record with 111 victories (in 154 games) as Lemon led the pitching staff with a 23-7 mark. He opened the World Series against the Giants and took a 2-2 tie into the tenth inning before giving up a three-run home run to pinch hitter Dusty Rhodes. When the Indians lost the next two, manager Al Lopez brought Lemon back on two days' rest, but he was shelled early as the Giants swept the Series.
Lemon's money pitch was his sinking fastball. He led the AL in strikeouts with 170 in 1950, but he was most effective when opposing batters were beating the ball into the dirt. Always slightly wild, his season bases on balls and strikeout marks were usually similar, as were his career bases totals of 1,251 walks and 1,277 strikeouts.
Lemon was considered to be one of the best-hitting pitchers of his time and was often used as a pinch hitter, totaling 31 hits in 109 pinch-hit appearances (.284). His 37 home runs lifetime is just one behind Wes Ferrell's record for pitchers, and his 7 HR in 1949 ties him for second on the pitchers' season list.
After leaving the majors, Lemon pitched briefly in the Pacific Coast League, then turned to scouting, coaching, and managing. In 1966 TSN named him Minor League Manager of the Year when his Seattle team won the PCL championship. From 1970-72 he managed the Kansas City Royals, with a 1971 second place the team 's best mark, earning him Manager of the Year honors. He took over the Chicago White Sox in 1977, managing another mediocre team to a strong finish, and again won Manager of the Year. But Lemon was replaced the next season with the team in fifth place.
A few weeks later, Lemon began a bewildering series of ups and downs with the New York Yankees. First, he succeeded fiery Billy Martin as skipper of the third-place Yankees. The team responded to his relaxed leadership and finished the 1978 regular season schedule tied with the Red Sox for the division title. New York won a one-game playoff on Bucky Dent's home run. After taking the LCS, Lemon's Yankees went on to a World Series win over the Dodgers.
Midway through the 1979 season, Billy Martin replaced Lemon as Yankee manager.
On June 30th, 1948 In his first full season as a pitcher, Bob Lemon of the Cleveland Indians pitches a no-hitter, beating the Detroit Tigers 2-0 in front of 49,628 at Briggs Stadium. Lemon has only two scares: Dale Mitchell makes a miraculous catch of a George Kell drive in the fourth and Ken Keltner makes a great stop behind 3B in the fifth.
On September 24th, 1950 a mental lapse crushes Tiger hopes.
Due to heavy smoke from a Canadian forest fire, Detroit puts on the lights in a Sunday afternoon contest with the Indians. Cleveland's only score in nine innings is pitcher Bob Lemon's HR in the fourth, as the match is tied 1–1 on Johnny Lipon's HR. Lemon opens the 10th with a triple, and two intentional walks follow. With the bases loaded and one out, C Aaron Robinson thinks he has a shot at a DP by just stepping on home. Because of the haze, he did not see 1B Don Kolloway remove the force after fielding the ball hit by slugger Luke Easter, and the Indians win 2–1.