"Larry Doby -- aka - Silk City Slugger: First in the American League"
Paying tribute to Mr. Doby's pioneering baseball career and serves as a hometown tribute to the man who, on July 5, 1947, broke the color barrier in the American League.
Lawrence Eugene Doby
Born: December 13, 1923, Camden, South Carolina
Died: June 18, 2003, Montclair, New Jersey
Newark Eagles (1942-1943, 1946-1947), Cleveland Indians (1947-1955, 1958), Chicago White Sox (1956-1957, 1959), Detroit Tigers (1959)
Elected to the Hall of Fame by Veterans Committee: 1998
The first African-American player in the American League, Larry Doby was a power-hitting center fielder and a key member of Cleveland's pennant winners in 1948 and '54. Before joining the Indians, he starred with the Negro National League's Newark Eagles for four seasons, leading them to a championship in 1946. A nine-time All-Star (seven times with the Indians and twice with the Eagles), Doby twice led the American League in homers. He was shortstop Monte Irvin's double-play partner in Newark.
that Doby's No. 14 was retired by the Cleveland Indians on July 3, 1994?
He was a great American, he served the country in World War II and was a great ballplayer. He was kind of like Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, because he was the second African-American player in the Majors.
Larry Doby came to the city of Paterson upon graduation from the Mather Academy in Camden, S.C. He was Eastside High Schoors first four letterman, excelling in football, basketball, track and, of course, baseball. After completing high school, he spent the summer of 1942 playing professional baseball for the Newark Eagles of the Negro National League under the alias Larry Walker, a common tactic used in those days to protect one's amateur status. He entered Long Island University in the fall of'42, but with the onset of World War II, he was soon drafted into the Navy. When the war ended, he rejoined the Newark Eagles. He was an all-star second baseman who led the Eagles to the 1946 Negro League World Series Championship (he is one of only four players to have played in both the Negro League and Major League World Series).
Doby spent 13 years in the Majors, mostly with the Cleveland Indians (he also played for the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers). He won the A.L. home run title in '52 and '54 with 32 homeruns and also won the RBI title in '54 with 126 RBIs. His slugging highlights include 8 consecutive seasons with 20 or more home runs, 9 consecutive seasons with 80 or more runs scored and 5 seasons with more than 100 RBIs. He ended his major league career in 1959 with 253 home runs and a lifetime batting average of .283. He had been named to 7 consecutive allstar teams. In 1962 he joined longtime friend and Dodger legend Don Newcombe, in Japan, playing for the Chunichi Dragons of Nagoya for one season.
He returned to organized ball in the late '60s as a scout and then coach of the expansion Montreal Expos. He went on to coach for the Indians and White Sox. In 1978 he followed Frank Robinson as the second AfricanAmerican Major League manager when he replaced Bob Lemon in mid-season as manager of the Chicago White Sox. Larry Doby is currently working for the Major Leagues Properties Division in New York City.
This exhibition is supported in part by the following: The
Cleveland Indians, The Chicago White Sox, The Detroit Tigers, The Montreal Expos, The Charleston River Dogs, Hasbro Toys, Topps Baseball Cards, The Sporting Views, Classic Sports Network and Classic Television Productions.