July 05, 2007

60 Years Ago Today : Larry Doby integrated the American League. He was signed by Bill Veeck, whose desire to integrate was criticized by some. The sale of Doby by Negro Leagues owner Effa Manley set a precedent for compensation back to the ill-fated league's owners as they lost more and more stars, and illustrated her willingness to sacrifice her star players for the greater good.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw to baseball at 02:52 PM - 6 comments

That's a great story. It's so easy to simplify history to say that Jackie Robinson integrated baseball, but there was obviously so many more people involved. And, it wasn't one owner making the call, there were managers, other players, Negro League owners, and even reporters helping to make it happen.

posted by bperk at 03:20 PM on July 05, 2007

I didn't know that Doby was the 2nd black player in the majors, but then again, I'm probably not the only one. To find out that he was also the 2nd black manager in the majors is a little bizarre, though. Kind of an odd coincidence.

posted by THX-1138 at 04:47 PM on July 05, 2007

Awesome post, Crafty.

posted by NoMich at 06:07 PM on July 05, 2007

Actually, Larry Doby's individual stats aren't too far behind Robinson's. It's too bad that most kids today have never heard of him.

posted by whitedog65 at 08:23 PM on July 05, 2007

Here's a story run this morning about the photograph of Doby and pitcher Steve Gromek embracing after Game 4 of the 1948 World Series. Doby's solo homer in that game was the difference in the Indians' 2-1 victory. The photo was a landmark moment, an image that gave some indication that maybe integration was going to work out just fine. SportsCenter had a nice feature this morning on the photo, with interviews with Gromek and the photographer. Doby had a very good Series in '48. He was also probably deserving of the 1954 MVP Award -- his numbers were very similar to Yogi Berra's, but Doby was a big part of the Indians push past the Yankees and into the World Series that year. Solid player and a gentleman.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 08:19 AM on July 06, 2007

Larry Doby and the Indians hurt me twice in 1948; first by beating the Red Sox in the one-game playoff, and then by defeating my beloved Braves in the World Series. We had Spahn and Sain, but lacked 2 days of rain. By the time I became a full-time Red Sox fan, and began to pay attention to the American League, Larry Doby was a fixture, not an anomaly. He demanded attention from opposing pitchers, and his 126 RBIs led Cleveland to a record 111 wins (in a 154 game season) in 1954. He deserves to be taken out from under the shadow of Jackie Robinson, and recognized for the greatness he exhibited.

posted by Howard_T at 04:50 PM on July 07, 2007

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