Archive for Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Friends remember Doby fondly

Hall of Famers gather to memorialize ground-breaker

June 24, 2003

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— Friends, family and fellow Hall of Famers gathered Monday to remember Larry Doby, 56 years after he became the American League's first black player.

Doby died Wednesday at his home in Montclair after a long illness. He broke the AL's color barrier when he joined the Cleveland Indians July 5, 1947, 11 weeks after Jackie Robinson played his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers of the National League.

Doby, who played 13 seasons in the major leagues and was selected for seven All-Star games, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.

During an afternoon memorial service at the Trinity Presbyterian Church in Montclair, Doby was remembered as a man of quiet dignity who never said an unkind word, even about those hostile to his joining the Indians.

Hall of Famers Phil Rizzuto, Yogi Berra and Joe Morgan, as well as Gov. James E. McGreevey, U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg and Rep. William J. Pascrell Jr., were among more than 300 mourners at the service.

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