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Larry Doby

Larry Doby

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Larry Doby

Position(s):
1B, 2B, SS, OF, CF, LF, RF
Born:
December 13, 1923
Bats:
Left
Throws:
Right
Height:
6' 1"
Weight:
180 lbs
Major League Debut:
7-05-1947 with CLE
Hall of Fame:
1998

Intro

Larry Doby batted .301 in 1948 to help the Cleveland Indians to the World Series. Once there, he won Game Four with a home run and was part of the last Indians team to win the Fall Classic. Though he won a World Series title seven years before Jackie Robinson, it was the four-month lead Robinson had in integrating Major League Baseball that cast a huge shadow over Doby's career. Doby was a fine hitter and outfielder, leading the American League in slugging, OBP, runs, homers (twice), and RBI. A true pioneer, Doby was the first African-American to play in the AL, first to lead his league in homers, first to hit a World Series homer, and the first to win a World Series title.

Unform Number

#14 (1947-1958), #37 (1949), #6 (1953), #25 (1959 Tigers), #32 (1959 White Sox)

Quotes About

"I never asked a pitcher to knock him down. I’d tell him we might come inside because he doesn’t like the ball in there, but that was it. I always talked to players at the plate. He’d get tired of me asking about his family and say to the umpire, ‘Tell him my family’s fine and to shut up.' " — Yogi Berra

Replaced By

Cleveland acquired Jimmy Piersall after the 1958 season, and he replaced Doby in center field the following year.

Best Season

It's difficult to choose between these two seasons. Doby led the AL in OBP (.442) and OPS in 1950, batting a career-high .326 with a career-high .545 SLG mark and 110 runs scored. In '54 he helped lead the Tribe to 111 season victories and the World Series, leading the loop in both homers (32), and RBI (126). Doby finished second to Yogi Berra in MVP voting in '54, and a distant eighth in 1950 to Yankee Phil Rizzuto. It paid to be white and a Yankee in the 1950's if you wanted to win an MVP trophy.

Factoid 1

Larry Doby was the first black player to play for a World Series champion in the major leagues.

Transition

October 25, 1955: Traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Chicago White Sox for Jim Busby and Chico Carrasquel; December 3, 1957: Traded by the Chicago White Sox with Jack Harshman, Russ Heman, and Jim Marshall to the Baltimore Orioles for Tito Francona, Ray Moore, and Billy Goodman; April 1, 1958: Traded by the Baltimore Orioles with Don Ferrarese to the Cleveland Indians for Gene Woodling, Dick Williams, and Bud Daley; March 21, 1959: Traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Detroit Tigers for Tito Francona; May 13, 1959: Purchased by the Chicago White Sox from the Detroit Tigers.

Strengths

Combination of power and speed.

Weaknesses

Doby was not a good base stealer.

Milestones

Doby was a major league caliber player at the age of 20, and had he been able to play in the big leagues at that age, he probably could have reached the 400-homer mark.

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Tagged:
Baseball History, Cleveland Indians, Hall of Fame, Larry Doby, Negro League

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