House Approves Congressional Gold Medal for Player Discovered at Hinchliffe Stadium

July 18, 2018 by Amanda Laughead

The House of Representatives has unanimously approved a bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Major League Baseball (MLB) player Larry Doby.

Doby was the second African American in the MLB, breaking the racial barrier just 11 weeks after Jackie Robinson entered the National League, making Doby the first African American in the American League. Doby was first discovered at Hinchliffe Stadium in Patterson, New Jersey playing for Eastside High School, where he was a four-sport athlete.

At the time Doby was signed by the Cleveland Indians in 1947, there was no interleague play, thus making Doby the first African American major league baseball player American League cities would have seen.

Doby faced harsh discrimination and abuse—being forced to eat at separate restaurants and sleep at separate hotels when traveling with the Indians. Doby’s achievements, both athletically and socially, are often overshadowed by Robinson’s—who quickly became a national icon. A 2016 New York Times article helped to shed light on Doby’s largely untold story, who helped lead the Cleveland Indians to a World Series title in 1948, as well as being the first African American to hit a home run in a World Series game.

The bill now heads to the Senate, where it must pass by a two-thirds vote. Congress has only ever approved issuing the Congressional Gold Medal 166 times—the first being to George Washington in 1776.

To read more about Larry Doby and the Congressional Gold Medal, see the full article here.

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