Cleveland Naps

From BR Bullpen

The Cleveland Naps was name the Cleveland Guardians went by between 1903 and 1914 which coincided with Napoleon Lajoie’s tenure with the club. Before 1903 the club was informally known as the Cleveland Bronchos, but sportwriters began calling them the Naps, as a result of a readers' poll by the Cleveland Press, in honor of Lajoie. From 1905 to 1909, Lajoie served as player/manager. The team’s best year, came in 1908 when it finished a half game out of first place with a 90-64-3 record. Other big stars for the team were pitcher Addie Joss and outfielder Elmer Flick. When Lajoie left the team, owner Charles Somers officially renamed the team the Cleveland Indians, a name it retained for over a century. The last surviving player from the Naps was Larry Kopf, who died in 1986.

On July 19, 1909, in a game versus the Boston Red Sox, Neal Ball, a Naps player, turned the first unassisted triple play. The game was played at League Park.


  • Russell Schneider: The Cleveland Indians Encyclopedia, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, PA, 1996