Jackie Robinson’s Debut


April 15, 1947 marks the 74th anniversary of Jackie Robinson Major League debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, thus ending the decades old “gentleman’s agreement” among the owners to exclude Blacks.
Although little attention has been paid to this, Larry Doby became the first Black in the American League three months later, playing for the Cleveland Indians.
Although Robinson suffered horrendous abuse his first season, he was encouraged by teammates Eddie Stanky, PeeWee Reese, and eventually the rest of the Dodgers.
That 1947 team won the pennant and eventually lost a thrilling 7 games World Series to the Yankees, which included Cookie Lavagetto breaking up a Yankee no-hitter and Al Gionfriddo making a sensational outfield catch off the bat of Joe DiMaggio.
24 years later, the Pittsburgh Pirates sported an all-Black starting lineup.
Jackie Robinson died in 1972 and Larry Doby in 2003. Larry Doby became the second Black manager in MLB.

Nat Weiner


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