(PASSAIC COUNTY, NJ) -- The County of Passaic will honor Passaic County Hall of Famer Larry Doby throughout the month of July. In 2016, the Passaic County Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution declaring July 5th as Larry Doby Day. On that day in 1947, Doby made his Major League debut for the Cleveland Indians becoming the first player to go directly from the Negro Leagues to Major League Baseball. In honor and memory of his accomplishments, the County of Passaic will offer baseball related programming throughout the month of July.
Doby, who moved to Paterson at a young age, attended Eastside High School and was a standout athlete in several sports including baseball. Soon after graduating from Eastside in 1942, Doby was offered a tryout at Hinchliffe Stadium with the Newark Eagles of the Negro National League. His time in Newark was cut short as he served in the United States Navy from 1943 through his honorable discharge in January of 1946. Upon his discharge, Doby returned to Newark to play for the Eagles. In 1948, Doby’s crucial home run in Game Four of the World Series, propelled him to become the first African American to hit a home run in World Series history.
In total, Doby played 13 years in Major League Baseball and parts of four seasons in the Negro Leagues. A seven-time All-Star, Doby led the American League, twice, in home runs (1952, 1954) and amassed 100 plus RBIs in five different seasons. In 1998, Doby was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. In 2017, the Passaic County Board of County Commissioners posthumously inducted Doby into the Passaic County Hall of Fame as part of its first class. The first induction ceremony took place on July 5th to coincide with Doby’s first Major League game. The County will dedicate future Hall of Fame ceremonies in honor of Doby.
The following events will take place to celebrate Larry Doby and baseball during the month of July: Thursday, July 22 at 7:00pm – The New Jersey Jackals will host Larry Doby Night at Yogi Berra Stadium where the Jackals will take on the New York Boulders. First pitch is 7:05 p.m. The Yogi Berra Museum will be open until 7:00 p.m. Currently on display is the exhibit “Discover Greatness: An Illustrated History of Negro Leagues Baseball.” Tickets are required.
Thursday, July 29 at 8:00pm – Join us for an outdoor viewing of the documentary “Pride Against Prejudice: the Larry Doby Story” at the Boat House at Garett Mountain Reservation. Film will begin at 9:00pm.
Previously on July 10, Brian LoPinto, Friends of Hinchliffe Stadium and Gianfranco Archimede, Executive Director, Paterson Historic Preservation Commission provided an exterior tour of Hinchliffe Stadium – its history, ongoing restoration and Larry Doby’s direct link to the stadium’s legacy. Those interested should meet at the Mary Ellen Kramer entrance. And on July 14, baseball historian John Zinn gave a virtual lecture on Hall of Famer and Patersonian Mike “King” Kelly, baseball’s first celebrity ballplayer.