When I'm not searching for James Shields and Rays cards I like to pick up the odd Brooklyn Dodgers card. This card caught my eagle eye while I was browsing COMC.com. The guy on the left we all know, the guy on the right maybe not so much. We all know that Jackie Robinson was the man who broke MLB color barrier on April 15th 1947 playing for the Dodgers. Maybe some of our younger readers are unaware that Larry Doby was the first black player to play in the American League. Just eleven weeks after Robinson played for the Dodgers, Doby played his first game for the Cleveland Indians on July 5th 1947. Both men are in the Hall of Fame,Robinson a first ballot inductee in 1962, Doby voted in by veterens commitee in 1998. Lets see how their careers stacked up against each other.
Seasons Played. Robinson 10
All Star Games. Robinson 6
Batting Average Robinson .311 very nice
Doby .283 solid
Hits Robinson 1518
Home Runs Robinson 137
RBI's Robinson 734
Stolen Bases Robinson 197
Nice looking stats for both players,amazing that there are only 3 hits difference between them. Jackie Robinsons number 42 has been retired throughout baseball, after Mariano Rivera retires no one will ever wear 42 again. Larry Doby's number 14 has been retired by the Cleveland Indians but not by MLB.
1947 seems a very long time ago,even youngsters who got to see these guys play are now in their 70's. Can any of us imagine living in a time when people were excluded from playing a game because of their skin color? Can any of us understand the abuse and hatred these pioneers had to endure just to play a game? I love baseball and I love it because of men like Robinson and Doby,men who made a great game even better.