Jackie Robinson is significant, but don’t forget Larry Doby.
Branch Rickey, owner of the National League Brooklyn Dodgers, and Bill Veeck, owner of the American League Cleveland Indians, were in search of the same goal in 1947 – breaking the color barrier in baseball.
The above photograph of Larry Doby and Steve Gromek, who pitched a complete Game 4 in the 1948 World Series against the Braves, was on the cover of the next days Plain Dealer. The photo has been called a signature moment in the integration of Major League Baseball.
In 1947, 11 weeks after Branch Rickey signed Jackie Robinson, a 23 year old Larry Doby joined him in breaking the MLB color barrier as he became the first black player to integrate the American League.
Larry Doby, #14, was a seven time consecutive All-Star center fielder, and with his teammate Satchel Paige, became the first two African Americans to win a World Series Championship helping the Indians to victory in 1948. He was the AL home run champion in 1952 and 1954, and the AL RBI leader in 1954 as well.
Larry Doby was the first black player to hit a home run in the World Series and an the All Star game.
In the words of Hall of Famer Bob Feller, a teammate of Doby’s from 1947-1955, “Larry Doby was a great American. He served the country in World War II, and he was a great ballplayer. He was kind of like Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon. He was as good a ballplayer as Jackie Robinson and a great teammate”.
In 1978 Larry Doby was second again. he became the second African American to manage an MLB team when he joined the Chicago White Sox. The Veteran’s Committee selected Larry Doby into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.
The Cleveland Indians retired Larry’s number 14, but isn’t it time for the other 29 teams to do the same?
It was a good week for Met’s Ace Matt Harvey. With his idol Dwight Gooden sitting in the front row, Harvey controlled the plate as he went against opposing pitcher, Washington Nationals, Stephen Strasburg. Harvey allowed only 4 hits and 1 run in 7 innings, to give the Mets a 7-1 win at Citifield.
It’s not wise to ever count Derek Jeter out. The nay-sayers are calling Jeter through. Derek had a set back this week when x-rays had revealed a slight crack in his ankle. Derek has the heart of a champion and the nine lives of a cat. With all he’s done for baseball and the Yankees, it’s just downright disrespectful to say he’ll never be back.
That’s my two cents for this week.
Posted on April 23, 2013, in 2013, Braves, Indians, Mets, White Sox, Yankees and tagged 1948 World Series, Branch Rickey, Cleveland Indians, Jackie Robinson, Larry Doby, Major League Baseball, Steve Gromek, World Series. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.