But one thing he could never do was break the team’s long no-hitter drought.
He finally reached that mountaintop Wednesday night in a New York Yankees uniform.
Kluber only walked one Texas Rangers batter as he threw the second MLB no-hitter in a span of 24 hours.
Indians fans know all about being no-hit in 2021, but Kluber doing it against the Rangers was its own special story.
A no-no in Texas!
Corey Kluber fires the 6th no-hitter this season! pic.twitter.com/lHHxUE7u3g
— MLB (@MLB) May 20, 2021
Cruel Irony of Kluber’s Feat
Luckily, Kluber did not no-hit his old team in the Indians.
However, he was on the Rangers last season after the Indians swapped him for Emmanuel Clase.
That trade looks like a total steal considering Kluber pitched in one inning before leaving with an injury for the remainder of the season.
The Rangers were clear losers and to make it worse, they got to see Kluber at his expected form Wednesday.
It may also be tough for Indians fans to cheer for anyone in a Yankees uniform.
But it was still nice to see Kluber actually smile for once after his long road back to this point.
And on the 19th day of May, 2021, Corey Kluber smiled.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 20, 2021
He could have easily been written off for good after his 2020 season.
The Yankees had the cash to spare and signed him for $11 million.
That appears to be a bargain given how he is looking so far.
A Great Trade All Around
The Indians getting Clase from Texas in exchange for Kluber was great for Cleveland and the former ace.
His 2020 was obviously not ideal, but he signed with a contender and got a nice salary in return.
Meanwhile, his former team got a great, young reliever who is already settling into the closer role.
Clase is wild at times, however, he did just turn 23 years old.
He is someone who is still going to develop over time.
Kluber just turned 35 years old and will be hoping for one more multi-year contract.
The Yankees may not let him leave if he can get through 2021 injury-free.
Having a two-time Cy Young winner in a rotation that also features Gerrit Cole is just unfair.
How he does in the playoffs, given New York makes it, will go a long way toward his potential future earnings as well.
As we said, Indians fans are not exactly big Yankee supporters.
But this was perhaps the one and only reason to be happy for that team.
If only for one night.