Doby joins J. Robinson in Hall after 36 years Lee MacPhail joins Larry as first father and son to be honored

March 04, 1998|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

Larry Doby followed Jackie Robinson by only 11 weeks in helping to break baseball's color barrier, but it took him 36 years to join him in baseball's Hall of Fame. Former Orioles general manager Lee MacPhail needed only 20 years to join Larry MacPhail as the first father and son to make the Hall.

Doby, whose 13-year major-league career lasted three years longer than Robinson's, and MacPhail, who held just about every executive position except commissioner in a 45-year career, were among four men elected yesterday by the Hall of Fame's veterans committee.

Also elected were "Bullet" Joe Rogan, a Negro leagues player, and "Gorgeous" George Davis, a turn-of-the-century shortstop.

"It's kind of like a bale of cotton has been on your shoulders and now it's off," said Doby, the first black player in the American League.

Doby, 73, who had a .283 batting average, 253 home runs and 970 RBIs playing primarily for the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox, had a cancerous kidney removed last October and is undergoing chemotherapy. He might have benefited from baseball's celebration last season of the 50th anniversary of the end of the unwritten ban on black players.

MacPhail, 80, served as president and general manager of the Orioles from 1958 to 1965, baseball administrator in the commissioner's office, general manager of the New York Yankees, president of the American League and head of the Player Relations Committee, the owners' labor body.

"I was never a general manager of a pennant winner," MacPhail said. "That was a disappointment. But the last trade I made was the best trade I ever made and helped set up some Orioles pennants."

MacPhail referred to his trade for Frank Robinson before the 1966 season. The Orioles won the world championship that season -- shortly after MacPhail left to become chief administrative assistant to the commissioner.

His father, Larry, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1978, ran the Cincinnati Reds, where he pioneered night baseball in 1935; the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Yankees. His son, Andy, is president of the Chicago Cubs, and his grandson, Leland S. MacPhail 4th, is the Indians' scouting director.

Rogan, who died in 1967 at 77, played for the Kansas City Monarchs from 1920 through 1938, pitching and playing the field. Based on available statistics, he batted .343 and had a 113-45 pitching record.

Davis had a 20-year career with three teams, including the New York Giants, from 1890 through 1909. He had a career .295 batting average. He died in 1940 at the age of 70.

Doby, MacPhail and Don Sutton, whom baseball writers elected, will be inducted in Cooperstown, N.Y., on July 26.

Pub Date: 3/04/98

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.