Today marks a special day in Cleveland Guardians history.
On this day in 1923, Larry Doby was born.
Doby was a special player, having been the first African-American to play in the American League.
The Hall-of-Famer made his MLB debut on July 5, 1947, breaking the color barrier in the American League, just as Jackie Robinson had done in the National League months earlier.
Doby was a two-time World Series champion and a nine-time All-Star.
During his career, he hit for a .288 average and amassed a grand total of 273 home runs, while posting a WAR of 56.5.
On Twitter, a Guardians fan took time to honor one of the greatest players in the history of baseball, while also calling for MLB to celebrate the anniversary of his debut every July 5, similarly to how the league celebrates Jackie Robinson Day every year on April 15.
Cleveland legend/American hero Larry Doby was born on this day in 1923. Doby was a baseball pioneer, a champion, and a Hall of Famer. He also bravely served his country during WWII as a U.S. Marine.
MLB should celebrate Doby Day every July 5th, the date of his 1947 MLB debut. pic.twitter.com/EjyUv4nbV1
— Guardians of The Land (@OurCLEGuardians) December 13, 2022
Guardians Honor A Legend
Doby was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998 after being voted in by the Veteran’s Committee.
But there was more to his name than just his baseball talents.
The Guardians legend also proudly served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II.
Doby played the vast majority of his career with the Guardians.
His best season came in 1954, when he hit .272 with 32 home runs and a career-high 126 RBI.
In 1959, his final season in the big leagues, the Hall-of-Famer split time between the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago White Sox.
Doby passed away at the age of 79 on June 18, 2003, but he helped shape the future of the game we all know and love, and his impact on the sport is still felt decades later.