By Trey Lyle
One of the oldest teams in baseball, founded in 1894, there are plenty of seasons to choose from in theory for the Cleveland Indians when it comes to which one is the best.
But the Indians have only won the World Series twice, and that was in 1920 and 1945 respectively. The 71-year drought is the longest active championship drought in baseball.
But for their best season, I'm not picking a season where they won it all, but one where they were able to win the American League pennant.
The best season was the 1995 Cleveland Indians, mainly due to having one of the best regular seasons in baseball history. In a shortened season due to the previous season's strike, the team went 100-44, which is the first team in American League history to win 100 games in fewer than 154 games. The team won the AL Central by 30 games, went to the postseason to sweep the Red Sox in the ALDS and beat the Seattle Mariners in six games in the ALCS.
However, the team did fall to the Atlanta Braves in the World Series in six games.
The team was led by closer Jose Mesa, who finished second in the Cy Young voting, leading the league with 46 saves and the finishing pitcher in 57 games total that season. Mesa had an ERA of 1.13 that season, only giving up eight earned runs, one unearned, and three home runs during the entire season.
The team also had the second-place finisher in the AL MVP race with Albert Belle, who led the league in RBIs with 126, home runs with 50, and slugging percentage at .690.
The team also was headlined by a young Manny Ramirez and Hall of Famers Jim Thome, Eddie Murray and Dave Winfield.
As a team, they led the American League in home runs with 207, stolen bases with 132, on-base percentage at .361, and slugging at .479.
The pitching staff led the league in ERA at 3.93 and was third in strikeouts with 926 Ks during the season.
The 1995 Indians were one of the best teams ever not to win it all, and it makes them the best team in Indians' history due to being the best team ever assembled in the Land.