1916-1919: Cleveland Indians football team was formed in 1916 when Peggy Parratt along with several members of the Akron Indians and Massillon Tigers formed a team in Cleveland sharing the name of the city’s baseball team, with whom they would also show a ballpark. Despite a loaded team, the Indians failed to win the Ohio League, losing twice to the Canton Bulldogs. The team was reorganized in 1919 and became the Cleveland Tigers under the leadership of Jimmy O’Donnell.
1920: The Cleveland Tigers were one of 14 charter members of the American Professional Football Association that was founded after a meeting in Canton at Bulldogs Owner Ralph Hay’s Hupmobile showroom. The Tigers first game would come on October 10th against the Dayton Triangles, ending in a scoreless tie. The Tigers would drop their next two games against the Canton Bulldogs and Akron Pros by twin scores of 7-0. The Tigers were forced to start the season on the road, as the Baseball Cleveland Indians were winning their first World Series, finally getting a home game the Tigers got on the scoreboard and got a win, beating the Columbus Panhandles 7-0 on a score by Charlie Brickley. However a week later they were blanked again by the Canton Bulldogs, losing 18-0. The Tigers would score against the Akron Pros, playing the eventual champions to a 7-7 tie. Following a 14-7 win over the Toledo Maroons, the Tigers finished the season with a 7-0 loss to the Buffalo All-Americans, finishing the season with a record of 2-4-2, playing one of the toughest schedules in the first year of the APFA, with just one non-league game.
1921: The Cleveland Tigers would once again become the Cleveland Indians thanks to the signings of Jim Thorpe and Joe Guyton. Led by Thorpe the Indians showed improvement right away, winning their first two games, a 35-9 win over the Columbus Panhandles and a 28-0 blanking of the Cincinnati Celts. However, in the win over Cincinnati, Jim Thorpe injured his ribs, and was sidelined more than a month. While Thorpe was out of action, the Indians struggled losing four straight. Jim Thorpe would return for a 17-0 win over the New York Brickley Giants, but the Indians would suffer a loss and a tie in their final two games, failing to score in each as they finished the season with a record of 3-5. After the season Owner Jimmy O’Donnell received permission to suspend operations, when he could not make a payment of $1,000 he would lose the franchise. A separate Indians team would come into existence in 1923 and merge with the Canton Bulldogs a year later. Following that team’s folding a third Indians team would play in Cleveland in1931 for one season. In 1937 Cleveland would get another team called the Rams in 1937 that team would play in Cleveland until 1945 when it moved to Los Angeles after winning a NFL Championship. A year later in a new league called the AAFC the Cleveland Browns would be born. They would win all four AAFC titles before joining the NFL in 1950.
©MMXV Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Football League. This site is not affiliated with the Cleveland Tigers or Cleveland Indians or the NFL. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on January 25, 2015. Last updated on January 25, 2015 at 9:55 pm ET.