February is Black History Month and once again we will look at some of Cleveland’s famous African-Americans. Most people know Jackie Robinson as the first African-American to play Major League Baseball (MLB) in the modern era and Frank Robinosn as the first African-American manager of a major league club. But it was Larry Doby who was the second in both categories. And Doby started his MLB with the Cleveland Indians in 1947 when Cleveland Indians owner Bill Veeck signed Doby.
Doby suffered the same indignities as Jackie Robinson starting out. Whether it was being forced to eat in separate restaurants or stay in separate hotels from the rest of team when on the road, or just not being accepted by some of his teammates, Doby persevered.
During his career as a ball player in the Major Leagues, Larry Doby was a seven time All-Star and put together five-100 RBI and eight-20 home run seasons. In 1978, he was hired (again by Bill Veeck) to manage the Chicago White Sox.
Bob Fuller is quoted as saying “He 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, because he was the second African-American player in the majors behind Jackie Robinson. He was just as good of a ballplayer, an exciting player, and a very good teammate.”
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