|A Tribute to Larry Doby|
Written by Jim Amato (Contact & Archive) on July 19, 2003
Frank Robinson became baseball's first black manager. Again Larry followed a Robinson into the history book by being the second black manager in the major leagues when he got the White Sox job in 1978.
Today Jackie and Frank Robinson are heroes and rightfully so. Only towards the end of his life did Larry enjoy the fruits of labor. Of course he is no longer with us but in 1998 Larry Doby's soul and spirit were enshrined at Cooperstown, forever.
Although he played for other teams, I will always remember him as a member of my hometown Cleveland Indians. After a shaky start in 1947, Larry exploded into the limelight in 1948. Larry along with fellow greats Bob Feller, Bob Lemon and company captured the AL pennant. They then went on to capture the World Series. Finally Larry was a star.
Doby was also part of the 1954 AL pennant winning Tribe squad. What a great team that was. That year Larry led the AL in HR's with 32 and RBI's with 126. He had also paced the AL in homers with 32 in 1952.
There are players with much better career statistics then Larry. He ended up with 253 career dingers and 970 runs crossed the plate because of him. Please remember that Larry had some good seasons in the Negro League that are not reflected in his stats. He was also a quick and graceful outfielder. More then anything he was respected among his peers and that says it all.