Indians honoring Doby after Friday's game

Indians honoring Doby after Friday's game

Indians honoring Doby after Friday's game
CLEVELAND -- Everywhere else in the country, Jackie Robinson is the name people remember.

But in Cleveland, Larry Doby has always come first.

Robinson and Doby were the first African American players to integrate the National League and American League, respectively. But because Robinson came first, Doby is often forgotten.

"Everybody knows the first man on the moon," said Larry Doby Jr. "The second people that come along, it's just human nature to forget them. He wasn't at all dissatisfied with his position in history. He knew somebody had to be second. He was very happy with the place that he occupied, and he was proud that he was able to open doors for people to come behind him."

The Indians' organization, though, has always recognized Doby's impact on the history of baseball. The Indians had a special ceremony for the late Doby following Friday night's game against the Rays to celebrate the 65th anniversary of his groundbreaking integration into the AL. Doby's son and two daughters were among the guests on hand for the celebration, which included the city of Cleveland commemorating Eagle Avenue between Ontario and East Ninth streets as "Larry Doby Way." The organization also played a video commemorating Doby's career.

Doby Jr. and Doby's former teammate, Jim "Mudcat" Grant, threw out the first pitches before Friday's game.

"It's a serious honor that they would recognize him like this," Doby Jr. said. "The city of Cleveland always supported him and had his back. We take a lot of pride in the fact that Cleveland recognizes the things he was able to accomplish here."

Indians manager Manny Acta said the celebration was the least the organization could do for Doby.

"It's a big part of our franchise, without a doubt," Acta said. "[Doby's] always gonna be part of this franchise. It's something we should all be proud of."