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Larry Doby
#10 | Center Fielder | Cleveland Indians


Lawrence Eugene Doby

     Larry Doby was the second African-American to play in the major leagues and the first ever in the American League.  A seven-time All-Star, he debuted with the Indians on July 5, 1947, just 11 weeks after Jackie Robinson first appeared with the Dodgers.

     The powerful center fielder batted .283 and slugged 253 home runs over his 13-year major league career, which included eight consecutive 20-home run seasons.  Prior to his elevation to the major leagues, he was a standout hitter for the Newark Eagles in the Negro leagues for four years.

 

     In 1948, his first full season, Doby hit 16 HR and contributed a .301 batting average to Cleveland's successful World Championship drive.  He batted a team-leading .318 in the 1948 World Series, winning the fourth game with a 400-foot home run off Braves star Johnny Sain.  Although he led league outfielders with 14 errors in 1948, he became a good enough fielder to be named by TSN as the top centerfielder in the majors in 1950, ahead of Joe DiMaggio and Duke Snider.  In 1952 the lefthanded hitter led the AL with 32 HR, 104 runs, and a .541 slugging percentage.  Doby topped AL batters in strikeouts two years running (111 in 1952 and 121 in '53).

     He was in his peak years during the Indians triumphant stretch in the early 1950s.  In 1953, when teammate Al Rosen came within a base hit of winning a Triple Crown, Doby hit 29 HR and drove in 102 runs.  In the Indians' 1954 record-setting 111-win season, his 32 HR and 126 RBI paced the league.

 

     After his ML playing career, he played in Japan and coached for the Expos, Indians, and White Sox. He managed the White Sox for most of 1978.

 

 


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