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Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Larry Doby


Larry Doby was only considered by the BBWAA in 1966 and 1967, only receiving a handful of votes each time. He was a seven-time All-Star in thirteen seasons, but he is best known as the first black player in the American League. Doby is one of only four Hall of Famers who played in both the Negro Leagues World Series and the MLB World Series, along with Satchel Paige, Monte Irvin, and Willie Mays.

Retired Numbers: #13 & #14

Of these eight players, only two were elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA, and only one of them was first-ballot. Two others gained entrance via the Veterans Committee. A reasonable case can be made for three of the remaining four for Cooperstown.

Larry Doby, Cleveland Indians

I was surprised to find that Doby was not inducted into the Hall of Fame until 1998 by the Veterans Committee. The first black player in the American League, Doby slugged 253 home runs and drove in 970 during a career that was shortened not only by racism, but also by war service. Doby started in the Negro Leagues in 1942, but served in the Navy in 1944 and 1945. He came back to the Negro Leagues in 1946 for one final season before signing with the Cleveland Indians to play in the majors.

Dave Concepcion, Cincinnati Reds

Ernie Banks, Chicago Cubs

Gil Hodges, New York Mets

Jim Bunning, Philadelphia Phillies

Jim Rice, Boston Red Sox

Ken Boyer, St. Louis Cardinals

Kent Hrbek, Minnesota Twins

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