Today marks the 60th anniversary of Larry Doby's debut with the Cleveland Indians. Doby came in to pinch hit that day in the 7th inning with the Indians trailing the White Sox 5-1, and much more importantly became the first African-American player in the American League. I don't know too much information about Doby's life, but I figure other people can chime in with their own wisdom.
Doby was an important part of the Indians first golden age. He became a regular in 1948, the year of the Tribe's last World Series championship, playing CF and putting up an OPS+ of 134. Before back injuries derailed his career, Doby was a rock in the Tribe's lineup from 1948-1955, putting up an OPS+ of at least 126 for each of those seasons (and two additional ones with the White Sox). He was arguably the best hitter in the AL from 1950-1952, finishing 1st or 2nd in OPS every year. He twice led the league in HRs (1952, 1954), once in OBP% (1950), once in SLG% (1952), once in RBIs (1954) and Runs (1952), and played in 7 All-Star games.
He was the (unsuccessful) manager of the Chicago White Sox for the 1978 season, ironically becoming the 2nd African-American manager in the big leagues. In 1998, five years before his death, he was honored with induction into the Hall of Fame.
The Indians offical site has a bunch of articles about him today. You can find them all by going directly to the team page. A little teaser:
Doby hit the game-winning home-run in Game 4 of the 1948 World Series. A photo after the game captured the following hug between starting pitcher Steve Gromek and Doby and became somewhat iconic for Doby's role in integrating baseball.
UPDATE: Promoted to front page. [Jay]