Events to honor The Legacy of Larry Doby
Saturday July 1 at 1:30 am
In celebration of the 70th anniversary of his signing with the Cleveland Indians, this presentation will discuss the career highlights of the second African American to play Major League baseball and and the first in the American League. Presented by Isaac (Ike) Brooks, this program is free and open to the public and is made possible, in part, through a grant from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture (CAC).
Speaking for League Park Book Discussion: Larry Doby
Saturday July 15 at 12:00 pm
Our July book discussion continues our celebration of the life and achievements of Larry Doby.
July marks the 70th anniversary of Larry Doby’s debut with the Cleveland Indians as the first African-American player in American League history. Like Jackie Robinson , Doby was not only a pioneer in the integration of Major League Baseball in the 20th century, but also a great player who helped lead the Indians to two league championships (1948 and 1954) and the last World Series title (1948) for the franchise to date. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.
The books Larry Doby: The Struggle of the American League’s First Black Player by Joseph Thomas Moore and Greatness in the Shadows: Larry Doby and the Integration of the American League by Douglas M. Branson provide insights into Doby’s life and career.
The Cactus League and the Integration of Spring Training
Saturday July 29 at 12 pm
This year, 2017, marks the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier which also coincides with the first year that spring training baseball was conducted in Arizona. Consequently the first black players to play for teams conducting spring training in Arizona’s Cactus League were the first to integrate many of the state’s institutions such as hotels, restaurants, bars and social clubs. .Doby, who became the American League’s first black player with the Cleveland Indians six weeks after Robinson’s debut joined his teammates in Tucson in the following spring of 1948, followed by Irvin (1949) and Mays (1952) with the N.Y. Giants in Phoenix and Banks (1954) with the Chicago Cubs in Mesa .All four of these crossover players from the Negro Leagues can also be seen as forerunners in the Civil Rights movement paving the way for those who followed and their interaction with major league players here in Arizona during the spring training seasons of the late 1940s and early 1950s marked some of the earliest interaction among black and white major leaguers. Presenter is Maryland based author Charlie Vascellaro.