Doby deal ends short Orioles career for future Hall of Famer
Added to the intrigue was the fact that deal also included another future Hall of Famer, Dick Williams, who went from the Indians to the Orioles in the trade.
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“That’s baseball,” Doby told the Baltimore Sun following a deal that few saw coming. It was a trade engineered by executives Paul Richards of the Orioles and Frank Lane of the Indians, both of whom rarely hesitated to shake up their rosters.
Doby was scheduled to be honored by the “Friends of Larry Doby” Club in Baltimore on April 12. But after selling more than 100 tickets to the event, the Club found the Orioles no longer had Doby.
Doby was the big name in the transaction, having starred for the Indians and White Sox throughout the 1950s after debuting with Cleveland on July 5, 1947 – less than three months after Jackie Robinson played in his first big league game with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Then on April 1, just two weeks before the 1958 season began, the Orioles traded Doby back to the Indians – also sending pitcher Don Ferrarese to Cleveland and receiving Bud Daley, Gene Woodling and Williams in return.
Doby, meanwhile, became one of the game’s most respected coaches for the Expos, Indians and White Sox. In 1978, White Sox owner Bill Veeck – who had signed Doby to play with the Indians in 1947 – named Doby as his manager, making him the second African-American skipper in big league history.
Doby was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1998. He passed away on June 18, 2003.
Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum