Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Lawrence Eugene "Larry" Doby (December 13, 1923 - June 18, 2003), was an American professional baseball player. A native of Camden, South Carolina, he was the second African American to play in modern Major League Baseball, and the first to do so in the American League. A centerfielder, Doby appeared in seven All-Star games, and finished second in the 1954 American League MVP voting (see 1954 in sports). He was selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998 by the Hall's Veteran's Committee.
A local star athlete from Paterson, New Jersey, Doby joined the Newark Eagles in the Negro Leagues at the age of 17 in 1942. At that time he played under the name Larry Walker to protect his amateur status. His career in Newark was interrupted for two years for service in the Navy. He then rejoined the Eagles in 1946. Along with his partner, fellow Hall of Famer Monte Irvin, Doby led the team to the Negro League Championship.
Doby was signed by the Cleveland Indians in 1947, eleven weeks after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers in the National League. In his rookie season, Doby hit 5-for-32 in 29 games.
At the end of the 1955 season, Doby was traded to the Chicago White Sox for Chico Carrasquel and Jim Busby. He returned to Cleveland in 1958 for a short period of time, finishing his majors career in 1959 with the White Sox after a brief stint with the Tigers.
Doby was a .283 career hitter with 253 home runs and 970 RBI in 1533 games. He hit at least 20 homers in each season from 1949-56, leading the league in 1952 (32) and 1954 (32), and appearing between the top ten leaders in seven seasons (1949, 1951-56). He hit for the cycle (1952), and also led the league in runs in 1952 (104), RBI in 1954 (126), on base percentage in 1950 (.442), slugging average in 1952 (.541), and OPS in 1950 (.986).
Larry Doby died in Montclair, New Jersey at age of 79.
- Baseball color line
- Negro League baseball
- Negro League baseball players
- Newark Eagles
- Hitting for the cycle
- MLB retired numbers
- First black MLB players by team and date
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