234 NINE Vol. 24.1–2 While baseball and society should recognize Bill Veeck and Larry Doby for their part in integrating Major League Baseball, they did not have the same role as Rickey and Robinson. Veeck may have intended to buy the Philadel- phia Phillies in 1942 to include African Americans, but he did not. Branch Rickey signed Robinson in October 1945, before Bill Veeck owned the Cleve- land Indians. Bill Veeck purchased the Cleveland Indians in 1946, but did not sign Larry Doby until July 1947. This was the year after rosters of five different minor- league teams included black players. Larry Doby was the first black in the American League, but he was not even the second African American in professional baseball. His experience, like the experience of the hundreds of players of color on major and minor league teams across the country, combine to make “the great experiment” a success. While answering a series of questions about Larry Doby’s role in integra- tion, Douglas Branson digresses from his focus with content that is repetitive and includes numerous factual inaccuracies. Douglas Branson contends that recognition of Larry Doby’s experience as the first African American in the American League
NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Dec 19, 2017
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