Major League Baseball needs to declare July 5th Larry Doby Day
It is way past time that Rob Manfred and crew get their heads out of their collective rear ends, and start to honor Larry Doby on July 5th every season. It's truly an embarrassment that the league pays very little respect to the man who broke the color barrier in the American League.
Doby joined the Cleveland Indians July 5, 1947, a mere three months after Jackie Robinson broke in with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and he endured a number of the same trials and tribulations that Robinson did. During his tenure in Cleveland, Doby was a seven time All-Star, helped propel the Indians to the 1948 World Series title, and was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998. For his 17-year career, Doby was nine time All-Star.
Cleveland has honored Mr. Doby in the past (in 2007 for the 60th anniversary) and the team has worn a patch as well. This past year the team also unveiled a mural of Doby, Frank Robinson, and Satchel Paige. Even as recently as 2020, team President Chris Antonetti was in discussion with the league about wearing Doby's number 14 in the future.
The league does honor Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier for all of baseball, every April 15th. Each team dons his number 42 - teams also have a memorial patch on their hats - and the number is retired league-wide. I'm not even advocating for the league to go that far. But doing nothing is a really bad look.
What I would propose for Major League Baseball to do is quite simple. Let the Guardians wear number 14 each July 5th, and their opponent can wear a memorial patch. At a minimum that's it, plain and simple.
If the Detroit Tigers can honor the Detroit Stars each year, then why can't the Guardians honor Doby? Maybe Manfred doesn't want to take away from the fake/forced patriotism and flag-adorned jerseys, hats, and socks of July 4th. I have no idea; I'm just merely speculating.
It's time to do right by Doby and finally give him the yearly recognition he deserves! So on the off-chance that anyone in any position of power within Major League Baseball or the Cleveland Guardians reads/catches wind of this... MAKE IT HAPPEN ALREADY!