YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – With the Cavs and Warriors tied at two games in the 2015 NBA Finals entering tonight’s matchup, here’s a look back at the last times that a franchise in Cleveland was in a championship contest in one of the four major sports.
1946 (AAFC) – Browns 14 New York Yankees 9
…In the fourth quarter, Dante Lavelli hauled in a 16-yard pass from Otto Graham and ran for a touchdown to secure their 14-9 victory.
1947 (AAFC) – Browns 14 New York Yankees 3
…At Yankee Stadium on December 14, the Browns led from wire-to-wire on Otto Graham’s first quarter one-yard plunge for six points.
1948 (AAFC) – Browns 49 Buffalo Bills 7
…Marion Motley ran for three touchdowns (29, 31, 5) as the Browns’ trounced the Bills.
1949 (AAFC) – Browns 21 San Francisco 49ers 7
…The Browns received three different players who scored rushing touchdowns (Marion Motley, Edgar Jones, Dub Jones).
1950 (NFL) – Browns 30 Los Angeles Rams 28
…Trailing by 8 in the fourth quarter, Otto Graham found Rex Bumgardner on a 14-yard pass and Lou Groza booted a 16-yard field goal to give the Browns an early Christmas gift (game was played on December 24 in front of 29,751 at Cleveland Municipal Stadium). Graham threw for 4 TDs (298 yards) and Dante Lavelli caught 11 passes (2 TDs).
1951 (NFL) – Los Angeles Rams 24 Browns 17
…The first NFL Championship which was televised from coast-to-coast. Tom Fears caught a 73-yard touchdown pass from Norm Van Brocklin late in the fourth quarter to secure their seven point win.
1952 (NFL) – Detroit Lions 17 Browns 7
…The Lions were led by Bobby Layne (who opened the scoring with a 2-yard run) and Doak Walker (who ran a 67-yard touchdown) to begin the game with a 14-0 lead.
1953 (NFL) – Detroit Lions 17 Browns 16
…The Lions’ rallied to defeat the Browns on Bobby Layne’s 33 yard touchdown pass to Jim Doran late in the fourth quarter from Briggs Stadium.
1954 (NFL) – Browns 56 Detroit Lions 10
…Otto Graham combined for six touchdowns (3 passing, 3 rushing) in the Browns’ runaway win.
1955 (NFL) – Browns 38 Los Angeles Rams 14
…For NBC’s first NFL Championship game, the Browns won the NFL title in front of 87,695 fans at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Otto Graham threw a 50-yard touchdown strike to Dante Lavelli and a 35-yard touchdown pass to Ray Renfro. Graham also ran for two more scores.
1957 (NFL) – Detroit Lions 59 Browns 14
…The Lions’ Tobin Rote threw for four touchdowns and ran another one in in the Lions’ 45 point victory.
1964 (NFL) – Browns 27 Baltimore Colts 0
…Gary Collins caught three touchdowns passes (18, 42, 51) from Frank Ryan as the Browns shutout Don Shula’s Colts.
1965 (NFL) – Green Bay Packers 23 Browns 12
…The Packers gained 204 rushing yards in the contest as Paul Hornung scored a third-quarter touchdown from 13-yards away.
1924 (NFL)…The Bulldogs won the NFL Championship with a 7-1-1 mark. In a twist, the Bulldogs and Bears were in a virtual tie for first although Chicago had 4 ties (6-1-4) and Cleveland had a better winning percentage (.875 compared to .857). On December 7, 1924 – Cleveland went onto challenge Chicago and lost 23-0. However, the owner’s decided that Cleveland would take the championship.
2007 – San Antonio Spurs def. Cavs, 4 games to 0
…The 2nd seeded Cavs made their way through the Eastern Conference playoffs after winning 12 of their 16 games played…The season will be best remembered as LeBron James’ coming out party as he led a team of underachievers to the NBA Finals as a 22-year old. James averaged 27.3 points per game, 6.7 rebounds and 6 assists.
1920 – Indians def. Brooklyn Robins, 5 games to 2
…During the regular season, Jim Bagby became the last pitcher to post 30 wins (31-12) in a single season…Trailing 2-1 in the World Series, the Tribe rebounded to win the final four games (all at Dunn Field) to win their first title.
1948 – Indians def. Boston Braves, 4 games to 2
…Lou Boudreau (.355 avg, 18 HRs, 106 RBIs) became the first shortstop to win the MVP award in the American League during the regular season.
1954 – New York Giants def. Indians, 4 games to 0
…Best known by the “The Catch” by Giants’ centerfield Willie Mays in game one, catching Vic Wertz fly ball with his back to the infield.
1995 – Atlanta Braves def. Indians, 4 games to 2
…Braves’ pitchers Tom Glavine and Mark Wohlers combined to toss a one-hit shutout in the series deciding game six as Atlanta won the World Series title 1-0.
1997 – Florida Marlins def. Indians, 4 games to 3
…In game seven, ahead 2-1, the Indians’ closer Jose Mesa allowed Craig Counsell to hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning to score Moises Alou to tie the game at 2. In the bottom of the 11th inning, the Indians’ second baseman Tony Fernandez misplayed a ground ball that may have been an inning-ending double play which allowed Bobby Bonilla to reach third with one out. Charles Nagy loaded the bases with an intentional walk to Jim Eisenreich. After a fielder’s choice, Edgar Renteria singled up the middle scoring Counsell to clinch the World Series title.
1945 (NFL) – Rams def. Washington Redskins, 15-14
…On December 16, 1945 – the Rams defeated Washington in one of the coldest championship games with a temperature of -8 degrees. This marked the final game for the Rams before moving to Los Angeles. Bob Waterfield threw a pair of touchdown passes (Jim Benton and Jim Gillette).