The Cleveland Guardians was established in 1894 as the Grand Rapids Rustlers.
In 1946, Bill Veeck established an investment business that paid $1.6 million to Bradley’s firm for the rights to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for the franchise.
Former Detroit Tigers slugger Hank Greenberg and Cleveland native Bob Hope were among those who put their money into the venture.
Veeck, a former owner of a minor league baseball franchise in Milwaukee, sent a promotional present to the city of Cleveland to thank them for their support. When Max Patkin was known as the “Clown Prince of Baseball,” Veeck hired him as a coach at one time in his career.
In the eyes of the American League, Patkin’s entrance into the coaching box was the kind of PR stunt that thrilled the crowd but outraged the team’s management.
Veeck moved his team from League Park, which was antiquated, tiny, and lightless, to the massive Cleveland Municipal Stadium after recognizing he had acquired a solid team.
The Indians relocated from League Park to Municipal Stadium for a brief period of time in the middle of 1932 before returning to League Park due to worries about the cramped nature of the stadium. However, beginning in 1937, the Indians began to play an increasing number of games at Municipal Stadium, and by 1940, they were playing the bulk of their home games at Municipal Stadium as well.
Despite the fact that much of League Park was destroyed in 1951, the area has subsequently been rebuilt as a recreational park.