Reporting Daryl Ruiter
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – On the 65th anniversary of his groundbreaking integration into the American League, Indians Hall of Famer Larry Doby will honored by the Cleveland Indians and the City of Cleveland on Friday, July 6.
The Indians will hold a special post game ceremony, which will include will include a video tribute to Doby, the unveiling of a commemorative “Larry Doby Way” street sign and USPS stamp, following the game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Doby’s children and former Indians teammate Jim “Mudcat” Grant will be on hand for the ceremony.
Doby’s son, Larry Doby, Jr. and Grant will also participate in a number of activities in and around the the ballpark on Friday and will both throw out ceremonial first pitches prior to the game.
The City of Cleveland announced Tuesday that Eagle Avenue between Ontario and E. 9th will be renamed Larry Doby Way. New street signs will be installed on the corner of Ontario and Eagle, at E. 6th Street and Eagle Ave. just outside Progressive Field Gate B, and at E 9th Street and Eagle Ave.
The United States Postal Service will dedicate a special commemorative stamp to Doby on July 21. The Doby Stamp, which will go on sale in Cleveland the same day, is part of a USPS collection of limited edition MLB All-Stars stamps.
A seven-time All-Star, Doby was a member of the the Indians’ 1948 World Series Championship team as well as the 1954 AL Championship club.
In 13 Major League seasons, Doby hit .283 with 253 home runs and 970 RBI. The former center fielder collected 100 or more RBIs five times and led the AL in home runs twice.
Aside from being the first African-American player to play in the American League, Doby was the first player to go from the Negro Leagues straight to the Majors. He was also the first African American player to hit a home run in the World Series, win championships in the Negro Leagues and Majors, win a home run title in the Majors and win an RBI title in the AL.
Doby, who was enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998, passed away at the age of 79 in 2003 following a long illness.
Sooner, rather than later, the Indians should build a Larry Doby statue outside Progressive Field to join Bob Feller and the future Jim Thome statues.
That is a tribute that is long overdue.