Eagle Avenue to be Renamed for Larry Doby on Friday
By Vince Guerrieri
Fifty-five years ago, Larry Doby made his debut with the Cleveland Indians, becoming the first black baseball player in the American League – and just the second overall, after Jackie Robinson integrated Major League Baseball earlier that year.
Tomorrow, the Indians will pay tribute to Doby with a street renaming and appearances by those who knew him best.
Eagle Avenue between East Ninth and Ontario – by Progressive Field – will be renamed as Larry Doby Way after Friday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Prior to joining the Indians, Doby played for the Newark Eagles of the Negro Leagues.
Doby’s son, Larry Jr. and his former roommate with the Indians, pitcher Jim “Mudcat” Grant, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to that night’s game. Larry Jr., Mudcat and Doby’s two daughters will also be on hand that day from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Cleveland Baseball Heritage Museum in the Euclid Arcade side of the Colonial Marketplace.
Also after the game, there will be an official unveiling of the new Doby stamp, which will be issued July 20 in Cooperstown, New York. There will be a stamp dedicated to Larry Doby at 10 a.m. July 21 during the Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel downtown, and stamps will begin to be available in limited locations in Cleveland that day.
According to the U.S. Postal Service, there have already been advance orders of 174,498 stamps with Doby on them. A total of 178,278 stamps of Stargell have been ordered, 225,038 for DiMaggio, and Williams leads the way with 234,198.
For more information about the stamps, or to order them, visit www.usps.com/play-ball.
Photos: Compliments of Cleveland Indians