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Along with: * Winning the Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, and MVP awards * Playing in 3 different decades * Being one of surely only a few players to play in the Negro Leagues, Major Leagues, and Central League (Japan) Don Newcombe this evening threw out a ceremonial first pitch alongside Sandy Koufax.
Wow, look at this picture: <--- I'd tell you who they were, but if you don't know, you don't deserve to know. I won't mention this one, but at least be aware that it exists:
Larry Doby was the first player ever to go straight from the Negro Leagues to the Major Leagues, coming to the Cleveland Indians, just three months after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Cleveland owner Bill Veeck was considered just as progressive as Brooklyn owner Branch Rickey. Manager Lou Boudreau introduced Doby, one-by-one to the Indians' players ("This is Bob Lemon," and Lemon put his hand out to shake Doby's) - this was done with each member of the team, and everyone shook Doby's hand. Everyone, that is, but three people - Veeck got rid of those three players at his first possible opportunity. In only his second season in the majors, Doby would go on to help the Indians win the 1948 World Series - the Indians have not won a World Series since then.
I wonder if we have any old-time Cleveland Indians fans here - I wonder, because I found a baseball from when I was a kid, and I'm trying to figure out what year it's from. It's autographed by a bunch of Cleveland Indians, but some of these signatures are pretty illegible: (It has been glossed over, and I'd written "Donald" on it - twice (once right on top of Mike Paul's signature) - so it isn't worth anything. I also don't think there's either Sam McDowell or Graig Nettles on it.) 1968-1971 - Mike Paul 1970-1972 - Roy Foster 1970-1971 - Vada Pinson 1971-1971 - John Lipon (well, I guess I just figured it out) <--- great website, btw 1967-1972 - Ray Fosse 1971-1971 - Gomer Hodge 1969-1972 - Jack Heidemann ????-???? - Ill Egible ????-???? - Un Readable 1968-1972 - Eddie Leon 1970-1973 - Steve Mingori 1971-1971 - Jim Clark ????-???? - Who Knows (it looks like "Cut Deal") 1969-1971 - Frank "Sacrfice Bunt" Baker 1971-1974 - Chris Chambliss (before he won Rookie of the Year!) 1969-1972 - Phil Hennigan 1971-1972 - Kurt Bevacqua 1968-1971 - Ken Suarez (?)