Doby, an all-around athlete at Eastside, had led his teammates to the Paterson baseball title in '41 and '42, all at Hinchliffe Stadium. And it was here in 1942 that he was scouted for the Newark Eagles in what he himself recounted at his Hall-of-Fame induction in 1998 as one of the most memorable moments of his life.
Thus was launched a legendary Hall-of-Fame career. Doby became only the second black player to play professional major league baseball in the U.S., and the first to play for the American League. He joined the Cleveland Indians on July 5, 1947, just eleven weeks after Jackie Robinson entered the National League. One writer has even described him as "star material early in his Negro League days., an All-Star second baseman whose baseball credentials might have been better than Robinson's."
Doby had to be tough to survive the prejudice he endured in the majors. His teammate Al Rosen describes him as handling it "as well as anybody could handle it. .. It was very difficult for him. There's no doubt about that." Over his 13-year career, Doby was a seven-time All-Star, with a lifetime average of .283 with 253 homers and 970 RBIs. He helped lead the Indians to their last World Series title in 1948, starting in center field and hitting a home run in Game 4. He was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1998.