A day after the House approved a Congressional Gold Medal for Paterson’s Larry Doby, Reps. Bill Pascrell and James Renacci toured the exhibits related to baseball’s integration at the national African American history museum. July 11, 2018.
Herb Jackson, Washington Correspondent, @HerbNJDC

PATERSON – Larry Doby, the baseball player from Paterson who broke the American League’s color barrier in 1947, is being honored with the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal, Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. announced.

“What Larry faced would have broken most men and women,” said Pascrell in his announcement. “Unspeakable racism, threats of violence, and shunning from even his teammates.

“But he endured because of unshakable courage and incredible character. And through his strength American civil rights were advanced forward,” added Pascrell. “Larry Doby was a great man and a hero.”

The award, approved by Congress earlier this month, was signed into law on Monday. Doby, the first African-American to hit a home run in the World Series when he played for the Cleveland Indians, had been a four-sport letterman at Paterson’s Eastside High School.

“For too long, Larry Doby’s courageous contributions to American civil rights have been overlooked,” Pascrell added.

Recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal must get the approval of two-thirds of the members of both the Senate and House.

George Washington was the first person to win the Congressional Gold Medal in 1776. Since then more than 300 recipients have followed. The group includes Ulysses S. Grant, Thomas A. Edison, Howard Hughes, Robert Frost, Irving Berlin, Winston Churchill, Lady Bird Johnson, Mother Teresa and Arnold Palmer,

“Larry Doby joined the Major Leagues shortly after the great Jackie Robinson and faced the same struggles and barriers without the same recognition,” said Rep. Jim Renacci, a Republican from the Cleveland area who co-sponsored the bill with Pascrell and others.

LOWRY: In the Olympics of life, Larry Doby deserves a gold medal | Lowry

EARLIER: House approves gold medal, its highest honor, for Paterson civil rights pioneer Larry Doby


Support our Signature Journalism

Become a subscriber today and get unlimited digital access and support stories like this one.



Read or Share this story: