Anniversary of Doby Breaking American League's Color Line

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) -- Today marks a baseball milestone that's not as well known as the day Jackie Robinson became the first black man to play in the major leagues.

Larry Doby of the Cleveland Indians became the first black player in the American League on July 6th, 1947, about three months after Robinson broke the color-line with the then-Brooklyn Dodgers of the National League.

Doby made baseball's Hall of Fame in 1998 and died in 2003.

A ballfield in Doby's hometown of Paterson, New Jersey, bears his name and there was a ceremony at the park yesterday to mark the anniversary.

Paterson native Joe Virella idolized Doby as a boy and later became his friend. He says baseball should retire Doby's number 14, like it retired Robinson's number 42.


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