The Story of a Baseball Pioneer
- 256 Pages
- March 19, 2024
- ISBN: 9781683584803
- Trim Size: 6in x 9in x 0in
When people think of baseball trailblazers, their minds immediately go to Jackie Robinson. He was the man who broke the color barrier, appearing in 1945 for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and would go on to a Hall of Fame career. His number 42 is retired throughout baseball, and every year MLB holds "Jackie Robinson Day" across the league.
But he was far from the only trailblazer. Two years later, in 1947, a twenty-three-year-old Larry Doby appeared in a game for the Cleveland Indians. He is essentially known as the second African American to break the color barrier, and was the first to appear in the American League (as the Dodgers are in the National League).
While Robinson is always the one to be spoken about, Doby was just as good in the field and at the plate. In fact, he was a 9x All-Star, a two-time World Series champion (being the first African American, along with teammate Satchel Paige, to win a World Series), home run and batting champ, and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998 after an incredible 13-year MLB career. He is, and will always be, one of the greatest players in baseball history.
Beginning his professional baseball career at the tender age of eighteen, he would play five years for the Newark Eagles of the Negro Leagues. In between, he spent two years out of baseball, defending his country in World War II as a member of the US Navy.
While Robinson had instant success with the Dodgers, Doby struggled off the bat. Having to endure immense racism (from fans, other ballplayers, and even teammates), disrespect, and threats on his life (and that of his family), it did not take until the following year, 1948, before he truly emerged as one of the best players in the game.
Written by esteemed author Jerry Izenberg--who saw Doby play with the Eagles as a youngster and would build a lifelong friendship with the ballplayer--Larry Doby is the real, raw story of perseverance and determination in the face of immense hatred.
Including in-depth research, to go along with personal accounts and numerous one-on-one interviews, Izenberg delivers an incredible tale that gives Doby his due as one of the all-time greats, while also sharing the struggles, trials, and tribulations of being a black man in a white country.
With Major League Baseball finally incorporating the records and stats of those in the Negro Leagues, Doby's story is one that is long-overdo, shedding light on what it was like playing baseball and being black in the 1940s and '50s, and how hard work and determination was key to rising above all the hate and becoming one of the greatest to ever play the game