New Arrival: Larry Doby, OF, Cleveland Indians

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Larry Doby signed as a Free Agent with the Indians in 1947, and when he debuted that season he was the first black player in the American League. While Jackie Robinson might have forged the path the previous season for black players in the majors, it was still not an easy road to travel. Doby had to put up with more then his share of racial problems–not the least coming from his own team. When he was introduced to his team only a couple guys would shake hands and some just turned their backs.  When Doby debuted at first base–a position that he never played before–he had to borrow a glove from the opposing team since nobody on the Indians would loan him one.  Not cool.  But he was befriended by second baseman Joe Gordon, who offered to warm up with him pre-games.

But Doby would slowly win over people. He was classy, and a hell of a hitter. In Game 4 of the 1948 World Series Doby would be the first black player to hit a homerun in the World Series–a one run shot of Johnny Sain that put the Indians up 2-0. Post game there is a famous picture of the Tribes starting pitcher Steve Gromek hugging Doby–a very public showing of support to a man that needed it.

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the Indians would win the series that season, and Doby would go on the be selected to
seven All-Star teams and come in #2 in MVP voting in 1954. He would be selected to the Hall of Fame in 1998.

Year Age Tm G AB R HR RBI BB SO BA OBP OPS OPS+ Awards
1947 23 CLE 29 32 3 0 2 1 11 .156 .182 .369 4
1948 24 CLE 121 439 83 14 66 54 77 .301 .384 .873 134 MVP-29
1949 ★ 25 CLE 147 547 106 24 85 91 90 .280 .389 .857 128 AS
1950 ★ 26 CLE 142 503 110 25 102 98 71 .326 .442 .986 156 AS,MVP-8
1951 ★ 27 CLE 134 447 84 20 69 101 81 .295 .428 .941 160 AS
1952 ★ 28 CLE 140 519 104 32 104 90 111 .276 .383 .924 163 AS,MVP-12
1953 ★ 29 CLE 149 513 92 29 102 96 121 .263 .385 .873 137 AS
1954 ★ 30 CLE 153 577 94 32 126 85 94 .272 .364 .847 129 AS,MVP-2
1955 ★ 31 CLE 131 491 91 26 75 61 100 .291 .369 .874 130 AS
1956 32 CHW 140 504 89 24 102 102 105 .268 .392 .858 126
1957 33 CHW 119 416 57 14 79 56 79 .288 .373 .837 127
1958 34 CLE 89 247 41 13 45 26 49 .283 .348 .838 129
1959 35 TOT 39 113 6 0 13 10 22 .230 .290 .591 61
1959 35 DET 18 55 5 0 4 8 9 .218 .313 .622 68
1959 35 CHW 21 58 1 0 9 2 13 .241 .267 .560 55
13 Yrs 1533 5348 960 253 970 871 1011 .283 .386 .876 136
162 Game Avg. 162 565 101 27 103 92 107 .283 .386 .876 136
CLE (10 yrs) 1235 4315 808 215 776 703 805 .286 .389 .889 140
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/20/2014.
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