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History

Larry Doby

Inducted 1966
Center Fielder 1947-1955, 1958

[On his number being retired] "This is a great moment. For all the struggles I've gone through... on behalf of all African-American players, this is a reward for us all."

On July 3, 1947, Indians owner Bill Veeck signed Larry Doby to a major league contract. Two days later he appeared in his first American League game, becoming the first African-American player in the league. This trailblazer enjoyed a magnificent 13-year big league career; with 10 of those seasons spent in Cleveland.

Doby helped lead the Indians to their second World Series title in 1948. During the World Series, he batted a team-leading .318 and his 400-foot homer off the Braves Johnny Sain won Game 4 for the Indians. In 1950 he was recognized as the game's best center fielder by The Sporting News. In 1954, Doby led the AL in home runs (32) and RBI (126), and he was named to his sixth consecutive All-Star team that season.

Prior to joining the Indians, Doby was a standout for the Newark Eagles of the Negro League. In 1946, Doby led the Eagles to the World Championship, batting .397. He was hitting .414 with the Eagles in 1947 before signing with the Indians.
Doby finished his outstanding major league career following the 1959 season. In his career he clubbed 253 home runs, collected 970 RBI and owned a .283 batting average with over 1,500 hits.

Larry Doby's No. 14 was retired by the Indians on July 3, 1994, exactly 47 years after he shattered the race barrier in the American League. He was enshrined into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998. Larry passed away at the age of 79 on June 18, 2003. Eagle Avenue, which runs behind the Progressive Field bleachers in left field, was renamed Larry Doby Way in 2012.

  • POSITION: Outfielder
  • BATS: Left
  • THROWS: Right
  • HEIGHT: 6'1"
  • WEIGHT: 182
  • BORN: December 13, 1923 in Camden, SC
  • DEBUT: July 5, 1947
  • FINAL GAME: July 26, 1959
Indians Career Statistics
G AB R H HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
1235 4315 808 1234 215 776 703 805 44 .286 .389 .500