Larry Doby played in 13 major league seasons (1947-1959) for the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers. Although he is most remembered as the first African-American to play in the American League, (subsequently suffering through much of the same abuse inflicted upon Jackie Robinson in the NL just three months earlier) in those 13 years he was a 7-time All-Star, hit 20+ homeruns 8 times (twice the AL leader), drove in 100+ runs 5 times, totaled 1515 hits, 253 homers and hit for a lifetime .283 average. As a lefty-hitting centerfielder, he was an important member of the Indians’ 1948 World Championship team, and 1954 AL pennant winners. In the 54’ World Series, he became the first black player to hit a Series’ homerun. He had also a member of the 1946 Negro League champion Newark Eagles.
After his playing days were over he served as a coach for the Montreal Expos, Indians, and Chicago White Sox, and in 1978 he became the 2nd African-American (after Frank Robinson) to manage in the AL when he was named by Bill Veeck to manage the Chicago White Sox. In 1997, his #14 was retired by the Cleveland franchise, and in 1998 he was elected to Cooperstown via Veteran’s Committee.
May 8, 2015
Larry Doby Field