CLEVELAND -- Just before the start of their American League Division Series matchup, the Indians announced the creation of The Larry Doby Youth Fund, which includes a donation of $1 million. The fund provides assistance to the underserved youth of Cleveland.
Doby was a Hall of Fame center fielder who spent 10 seasons with the Indians, including seven All-Star campaigns. He broke the color barrier in the AL in 1947 and was a part of the last Indians team to win a World Series, in 1948.
"As many are aware, Hall of Fame Cleveland Indian Larry Doby was the first African-American to play in the American League," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He endured many unfair hardships and challenges, and handled everything with the professionalism and grace that defined him. It is in Mr. Doby's spirit that we have created The Larry Doby Youth Fund."
In addition to the team's donation, each of the current players, coaches and members of the support staff also chose to donate to the fund.
"We are very fortunate to be a part of Major League Baseball," Francona said, "and we accept the social responsibility that comes with that -- to use our resources to directly make an impact on the underserved youth of our community, to make our community better."
The Cleveland Foundation will administer the Larry Doby Youth Fund and will work with youth-focused community organizations to provide educational assistance and resources to help curb youth violence.
"Larry Doby is an icon in our community, and the Cleveland Indians are true champions for continuing his civic legacy at all levels of the organization," Cleveland Foundation president and CEO Ronn Richard said. "By giving back to Cleveland and serving their youngest fans, the Cleveland Indians and their uniformed personnel in this instance demonstrate once again why we are proud to root for the home team."
Fans wishing to rally together with the Indians clubhouse to support the kids in our community can make a donation by Nov. 2 to The Larry Doby Youth Fund by visiting: Clevelandfoundation.org/larrydobyyouthfund. Fans can also text CLEVE to 27722 to donate $5 to The Larry Doby Youth Fund of the Cleveland Foundation by Nov. 2.
Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.