Larry Doby

Died June 18th, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) -- Hall of Famer Larry Doby, the first black player in the American League, died Wednesday night after a long illness. He was 79.

Doby died at his home in Montclair, N.J., said his son, Larry Doby Jr.

Doby was a seven-time All-Star in a 13-year career, almost all of it spent in the outfield for the Cleveland Indians. He helped lead the Indians to their last World Series title in 1948.

On July 5, 1947, just 11 weeks after Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier, Doby joined the Indians. Though he would go on to hit .283 with 253 home runs and 969 RBIs in a big league career that lasted through 1959, his locker room reception that first day was chilly. Some teammates would not even shake his hand.

"Very tough," Doby once recalled. "I'd never faced any circumstances like that. Teammates were lined up and some would greet you and some wouldn't. You could deal with it, but it was hard."

He was voted into the Hall of Fame by its Veterans Committee in 1998.

Picked by Slabmaster General.