Indians notebook: Nagy, Thornton, Garcia, Bagby honored

Andy Call

The fans at Jacobs Field cheered Charles Nagy as he walked in from the bullpen Saturday night, just as they had hundreds of times before as he crossed the diamond after warming up for a start.

This time, however, instead of taking a seat in the dugout, Nagy took a seat in a row of chairs reserved for some of the best players in franchise history. The dependable and durable right-hander was one of four former players to be inducted into the Indians Hall of Fame during a pregame ceremony.

The class of 2007 — Nagy, Andre Thornton, Mike Garcia and Jim Bagby Sr. — brought the total number of inductees to 31.

Bagby’s great-granddaughter unveiled his plaque in the Heritage Park area beyond center field. He was 31-12 in 1920, helping the Indians win their first World Series, and also hit a three-run home run in Game 5 of that series. Bagby was 122-85 in his career and had a 1.96 ERA in 1917.

Garcia’s wife and son unveiled his plaque. He put up the lowest ERA in the American League (2.64) in 1954 while teaming with Bob Feller, Bob Lemon and Early Wynn on the “Big Four” rotation that led Cleveland to the World Series. Garcia was a three-time All-Star and won 79 games in a span of four seasons (1951-54).

Thornton was also cheered loudly as he walked in from the bullpen. He hit 214 homers and drove in 749 runs from 1977-87. Thornton hit for the cycle in 1978, a feat not duplicated until Travis Hafner did so in 2003.

The loudest cheers were for Nagy, who did not miss a start from October of 1993 to May of 2000 and pitched in 15 postseason games for the powerhouse Indians teams of the 1990s. The three-time All-Star, 129-103 in his career, is now pitching coach for Anaheim’s Triple-A Salt Lake City affiliate.

Team owner Larry Dolan presented four crystal pieces, and Hall of Famers Sam McDowell and  Feller helped Thornton and Nagy put on their navy-blue jackets. Thornton and Nagy threw out the ceremonial first pitches, caught by Kenny Lofton and Jake Westbrook.

A victory lap in convertibles allowed the fans to cheer Nagy, Thornton and the family members of Bagby and Garcia one last time.

COMING UP  The series concludes this afternoon at 1:05. Jake Westbrook (3-6, 5.00) will start against Andy Pettitte (8-7, 4.00).

THE PRONK WATCH  Manager Eric Wedge said he hopes Travis Hafner (left knee inflammation) will be able to start Tuesday. Hafner took swings in the batting cage Saturday, but said he was too sore to play Friday. “I tried to swing, but when I went to pivot on my back side, there wasn’t much there,” Hafner said.

STICKING AROUND  LHP Jason Stanford, designated for assignment Aug. 4, has accepted his assignment to Triple-A Buffalo. Stanford had the option of refusing the assignment and becoming a free agent.

THE MILLER WATCH  RHP Adam Miller (elbow) threw a two-inning simulated game Saturday. Buffalo Manager Torey Lovullo told the Buffalo News, “I would say he was throwing solid, but not ready for a baseball game any time soon.”

THE DOTTED LINE  The Indians have signed their 50th-round draft pick, University of Michigan catcher Doug Pickens.

ON THE FARM  RHP Santo Frias of the Gulf Coast League Indians has the lowest ERA in the organization, 1.88 through nine starts covering 48 innings. He has struck out 47, second in the league, and issued eight walks. The 19-year-old Dominican was signed prior to last season, when he went 4-4 with a 1.30 ERA in 11 starts for the Dominican Summer League team.

Reach Canton Repository sports writer Andy Call at (330) 580-8346 or e-mail andy.call@cantonrep.com.