Bob Feller once likened his longtime Cleveland teammate Larry Doby to Buzz Aldrin, noting the second man syndrome.
Aldrin went through all the same training, peril and unknown as Neil Armstrong, but he was second to step foot on the moon. Thus, Ryan Gosling played Armstrong in “First Man,” not Aldrin.
Doby was the second player to break the major league color line. Sunday was the 73rd anniversary of Doby becoming the first black player in the American League, 81 days after Jackie Robinson became the first overall on April 15, 1947. Guess which one Chadwick Boseman played in “42”?
But as Negro League Baseball Museum president Bob Kendrick told Jon Paul Morosi for MLB.com, “[Doby] went through the same things in the AL that Jackie did in the NL. He was thrown into a powder keg of racism, and he never played in the minor leagues.”
And if you need a wider view of Doby, this is what Feller, a Hall of Fame pitcher, said in full about his teammate from 1947-55: “[Doby] was a great American, served the country in World War II, and he was a great ballplayer. He was kind of like Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, because he was the second African-American in…