Hall of Famer Larry Doby Dies Wednesday After long Illness

By Off the BlackAthlete Sports Wire
Updated: August 8, 2007

Larry DobyNEW YORK— Hall of Famer Larry Doby, the first black player in the American League, died Wednesday night after a long illness.

He was believed to be 78.

Doby died at his home in Montclair, New Jersey, said his son, Larry Doby Jr.

Larry Doby joined the Cleveland Indians on July 5, 1947, just 11 weeks after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier.

Doby received far less attention, but faced the same type of prejudice.

In his first decade with the Indians, Doby was kept apart from teammates – eating in separate restaurants and sleeping in separate hotels – and was the frequent target of racial taunts.

A seven-time All-Star in a 13-year major league career, Doby helped lead the Indians to their last World Series title in 1948.

He led the American League in homers in 1952 and 1954 – hitting 32 each season – and also led the league in RBI in 1954 with 126.

In 1949, Doby, Robinson, Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe became the first black All-Stars.

Doby hit .283 with 253 home runs and 969 RBI in a career that lasted through 1959.

In 1978 with the Chicago White Sox, Doby became baseball’s second black manager, following Frank Robinson.

There are discrepancies over Doby’s age. The Baseball Hall of Fame lists Doby’s birth date as December 13, 1924, but some other publications list it as December 13, 1923.