The latest received from Press Pros readers share opinion on Larry Doby breaking the color line in the American League just weeks after Jackie Robinson did it in the National League…remembrances of Ohio State friend and benefactor Bill Wells…and support for “spurtability”.
Our January 30 column on baseball hall of famer Larry Doby opened some eyes, and in some cases the awareness of those who never knew he existed…and what he did:
“Thank you for the article on Larry Doby, which taught me something. I’ve been a baseball fan for thirty years and I’d never heard of Larry Doby. Just Jackie Robinson. You would think the two men should have equal recognition.” …. Michael Speer
“If major league baseball was really that interested in recognition for what Robinson did, they would equally recognize Larry Doby, as well. The fact that he’s been ignored doesn’t make sense.” … Andy West
“I did not know, and millions of others probably don’t know, either.” … Richard Murnahan
“When I looked up Larry Doby’s career stats I was stunned. Excellent article.” … William Moody
“Why don’t the American League players all wear Doby’s #14 on July 5, like they do Robinson’s on April 15? Just a thought.” … Pete Rupay
“Larry Doby was my father’s favorite Cleveland Indians player during the 50s. His prized possession was an autographed baseball he got from Doby at the 1955 all-star game in Milwaukee. Great story.” … Robt. Latman (Elk Grove, Il.)
“Grew up in Cleveland and know this story well. The reason Robinson is remembered is because he was outspoken and a significant personality for racial equality after baseball. Doby was not, and never seemed to care about being first black player in the American League. Robinson greatly benefited from the civil rights movement of the 60s as it kept his name in the headlines. Doby wanted no part of it and preferred be be left alone. He was an exceptional coach in the Indians and White Sox farm systems, and helped many black and Latin players find their way. He always had a smile, a kind individual and a highly-respected baseball man.” … James Bozick
“Branch Rickey knew he could sell tickets by bringing Robinson to Brooklyn, and he created a spotlight on his own ballclub. Rickey made him a centerpiece for integration, opinion, and let Robinson suffer the consequences. In Cleveland Bill Veeck brought Larry Doby to the big leagues without stirring the pot, and just let him play.” … Owen Davis
(Ed. Note: You’re lucky, Owen. Having the biggest Cleveland Indians fan of all time on our staff (that would be hall of famer, Hal McCoy), I posed your opinion to him. Says Hal, “That’s hard to believe. Veeck was the greatest baseball promoter of all time and I can’t believe he didn’t try to sell tickets to see Doby and Satchel Paige.” Hal grew up in the area, and I tend to agree with him, having read Veeck’s book (Veeck, As In Wreck). Interesting take on it, but I think you swung and missed on this.)
On words you never heard of….
“If you looked for the word ‘spurtability, you didn’t look very hard. Go to Google and you’ll find it.” … Greg Smith
(Ed.Note: You’re not the first to respond, but you’re right, I didn’t. Someone said it’s in the ‘Urban Dictionary’. I considered the return on investment of time.)
Our tribute to friend, Buckeye legend, and benefactor Bill Wells touched a number of people.
“A great tribute to Wellsy, and well-written. Our Buckeye Baseball family lost a giant. A great, great man!” … Brett Garrard (via Twitter)
“Would see him at Bill Davis and he always remembered my name. He was kind, and he was always interested in talking about the Buckeyes. I sorry he’s gone and will miss seeing him.” … Tom (via Facebook)
“The photo of him walking on the battlefield by himself was a poignant moment. It said a lot about Bill and his passion for ‘paying forward’.” … James Meyer
And then, this….
“Once again I see your generous offer of $2,500 dollars, disguised as a scholarship, with Hal McCoy’s name on it. Seriously. $2,500 barely gets you to school for a year, much less pay for it. I also see that you only offer it to the kids in your market area, and not those from urban districts. And you only offer it to graduating high school seniors, instead of kids already enrolled in college committed to the field of journalism, struggling to make ends meet. You seriously need to rethink this if you’re intention is to actually help someone get an education.” … Jared Scyzmanski
(Ed. Note: To your point about generosity, our $2,500 is $2,500 more than anything offered by media entities in those urban districts you mentioned. It has never been awarded as a pay-all scholarship. And it’s not limited to journalism. Two of our awardees have gone on to study literature and language arts and are presently high school English teachers. I would also suggest that you share the Press Pros example with other media that give so richly to urban and inner-city schools. We’re anxious to see if bigger really is more generous, and better.)