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Indians Larry Doby tribute


grmuckrakers

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I'm all for honoring people, but when is the first latino player, asian player, etc? There are too many doors opened now. A patch or a team ceremony/give away day is fine.

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14. I heard them talking about it one Mike and Mike.

I'm all for honoring people, but when is the first latino player, asian player, etc? There are too many doors opened now. A patch or a team ceremony/give away day is fine.

It's like Greeny said this morning. This, too, is a big deal because this happened way before inter-league play. Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in the Majors and the NL but no one had done it in the AL until a few months later when Doby broke through.

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Double post from another thread warning:

Being a third generation Indians fan I'll get on the Doby train.

I don't want to take away from what Robinson did, but I would like to point out and trumpet what Doby did.

Larry Doby was signed by Bill Veeck in the middle of the season from the Newark club in one of the negroe leagues. He was not groomed in a farm system and transitioned into the big league camp at spring training. One day he was in Newark the next he was breaking the color barrier in the American League. In those days there was no Major League Baseball with capital MLB, there were the major leagues- the American and the National. Two very seperate entities which only got together during the world series. The leagues hired and used their own umpires and even played with two different brands and models baseballs.

What Robinson did was great, but I think in this day and age what Doby did, which was arguably tougher, is easily looked past. Bill Veeck said in "Veeck as In Wreck" that Doby could have easily been one of the greatest hitters of all time if not for the way he so personally took some of the sturggles early in his career.

Larry Doby: Second to None.

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Larry Doby was an outstanding player. .283 253 HR 970 RBI actually matches up well with Robinson's numbers, though Robinson was older when he broke the color barrier. Both were trailblazers, and I'm glad to see what Doby did is being recognized. People forget that in the 50s the two leagues operated in many ways very independant of each other--making his debut equally significant.

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I think that is a fair request. Doby came in, was it two months after Robinson? I'm sure it was just as difficult for Doby as it was for Robinson.

Exactly. I was "told off" on another board for suggesting Doby deserves the same attention as Robinson. It wasn't like the NL was a bunch of evil racists and the AL was friendly and welcoming to black players. Those AL players had never seen Jackie Robinson, and they gave Doby the same treatment Robinson got. Bob Feller said before that Doby was "one of the guys to them", and they always treated him equally. Doby said he didn't know what team Feller was playing on, but he was given as much :censored: from his teammates as the other teams. I'm sure people threw stuff at Doby and other players attacked him, I'm sure he got death threats, too. What he did was every bit as hard as what Robinson did.

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A Newark Eagle and a hero in my parts Doby was he lived only a few miles from me.

He deserves his recognition and the Indians wearing 14 on July 5th is fitting.

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I'm going to play a little "devil's advocate" here. These guys deserve attention, recognition, and everything, but why do you never hear about the owner or coach that brought them up and gave them this chance?

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I'm going to play a little "devil's advocate" here. These guys deserve attention, recognition, and everything, but why do you never hear about the owner or coach that brought them up and gave them this chance?

Because right up until the moment they did, they were one of the oppressors who kept segregation alive and well. That's why I never understood making Branch Rickey a hero in all of this. He was in management for decades before he stuck his neck out for a single minority ballplayer. These guys as a collective unit kept baseball lily white for as long as they could, that's why they shouldn't be honored. When these Robinson/Doby anniversaries come around each year, MLB should be praying that nobody thinks about the other side of the coin; that the celebrations are really saying, "Look how mortifyingly long baseball got away with an undeniable, inexcusable sin".

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I'm going to play a little "devil's advocate" here. These guys deserve attention, recognition, and everything, but why do you never hear about the owner or coach that brought them up and gave them this chance?

Bill Veeck was the Indians owner who gave Doby a chance, and as a matter of fact you hear an awful lot about Bill Veeck. Veeck had a great relationship with Doby as well as Satchel Page- Veeck signed the ageless Page when he went on to operate the St. Louis Browns. Veeck actually paid the Newark Eagles owner for Doby whereas Rickey just snatched up Robinson from the negroe leagues.

Most everyone seems to be in agreeance that "Doby had it just as hard as Robinson". I would argue he had it harder. He wasn't groomed in the minors, Robinson played a seaosn with the Montreal Royals, the Dodgers AAA farm club. Doby didn't get to attend spring training and acclimate himself with his teamates like Robinson did. One day Doby was an Eagle, the next he was an Indian.

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I'm going to play a little "devil's advocate" here. These guys deserve attention, recognition, and everything, but why do you never hear about the owner or coach that brought them up and gave them this chance?

Because right up until the moment they did, they were one of the oppressors who kept segregation alive and well. That's why I never understood making Branch Rickey a hero in all of this. He was in management for decades before he stuck his neck out for a single minority ballplayer. These guys as a collective unit kept baseball lily white for as long as they could, that's why they shouldn't be honored. When these Robinson/Doby anniversaries come around each year, MLB should be praying that nobody thinks about the other side of the coin; that the celebrations are really saying, "Look how mortifyingly long baseball got away with an undeniable, inexcusable sin".

I have to disagree with you here. Look at how far ahead of the rest of the country baseball was when it came to integration. Before the army, before the schools...before just about everything. Rickey waited until he felt he had the right man at the right time to open up the NL. And Bill Veeck simply could not afford to be the first owner to break the color barrier. As unpopular as he already was with the other owners, he had to go second.

What determined the timing, more than anything, was the end of World War II. People were shocked by the Nazi atrocities, and it caused some of them to look at what was going on here at home. I think Rickey gets just about the right amount of credit here, and Veeck not nearly enough.

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I'm going to play a little "devil's advocate" here. These guys deserve attention, recognition, and everything, but why do you never hear about the owner or coach that brought them up and gave them this chance?

Three points:

1. You do hear about the execs involved, especially Branch Rickey and Bill Veeck. All the time. I can't think of a Jackie Robinson story I've heard or read, ever, that did not mention Rickey. Rickey and Veeck are prominently featured at the Hall of Fame for their involvement in breaking the color barrier, as are other scouts and executives.

2. However, all of the execs involved, even the sainted Rickey and Veeck, were themselves morally compromised by personal complicity in the ongoing exclusion of black players from baseball. These people took stands for justice after many years of thriving in a system of injustice, and even then their stands for justice just happened to have aligned perfectly with their personal and professional interests in winning ballgames and making money. The first black players were not in any of those ways morally implicated in past injustice; they wanted to play in the white leagues even before it served white executives' interests for them to do so. The baseball execs who ended the exclusion of black players weren't pioneers in doing an extraordinarily good thing; they were simply the first people in their fields of business to stop doing an extraordinarily bad thing. (I don't mean this at all as a swipe against either Rickey or Veeck, decent men both who did in fact want to break the color barrier earlier than they did, nor at the other, mostly younger, baseball men who took professional risks to integrate the game. But they all did quite well for themselves for years before 1946 by cooperating actively in the unjust exclusion of black men from their leagues. Demanding more recognition from them is a bit like the career armed robber who finally gets himself a straight job and then wonders why the police don't give him a medal for lowering the crime rate.)

3. Also, Branch Rickey, Bill Veeck, and the other executives involved did not personally have to endure what the pioneering black ballplayers endured in terms of scorn, ridicule, and violence, real or threatened, from fans, opposing players, and even teammates, on the field and off. The executives did not suffer nearly two decades of segregation in and around spring training facilities and even during regular season games in St. Louis and Cincinnati (to say nothing of northern cities like Boston and Minneapolis, where informal segregation was quite strong through the 1960s). And while we're talking about why baseball executives don't get their numbers retired or whatever, let's not forget that as late as the early 1980s there were still a few teams with notoriously bigoted management cultures, usually starting in the owner's suite, and even the most forward-thinking owners and executives took precious little action to correct this ongoing wrong for two generations. Other than signing the black players the bigots wouldn't sign, of course.

Plus, sports are about the playing of a game. Nobody comes to a ballpark to see the owner sign a check or the GM make a phone call. If you want to glorify men in suits conducting business transactions, you don't watch baseball, you watch CNBC.

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Yay. I think it's a great idea, I agree 100% with everyone in favor of doing this. He doesn't get the credit he should, for being the 1st Black in the AL.

I apologize for getting the number wrong in the first post. Of course he was No. 14 -- and very much deserving of the honor.

As for the execs, when you think about Rickey and his timing, you have to remember the commissioner. Landis would never have allowed it. But Happy Chandler allowed it -- and it cost him his job as commissioner.

Chandler's quote is one of my favorites, something along the lines of "Some day I'm going to meet my maker, and he might ask me why I didn't let that man play baseball. And if I answered 'Because of his color,' Well, that might be the answer he'd be looking for."

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I'm glad this thread exists. I had no idea about Larry Doby. He is definitely an American hero and deserves far more consideration than he gets. Considering the homogeneous structure of MLB today, I think it's hard to visualize what the two leagues looked like back then and just how independent the experiences were of Doby and Robinson.

I'm actually kind of embarrassed that I had never heard of him.

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We all know about Jackie Robinson and to a lesser extent Willie O'Ree. Now we are starting to hear more about Larry Dolby.

But not to be a smart ass but does the NBA or NFL do anything in rememberence of their first black players?

Just curious.

Dan

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