WASHINGTON, DC – President Donald Trump is the only thing standing in the way of a Patersonian receiving the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor.

Under legislation spearheaded by Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr., and passed Thursday by the House of Representatives, baseball legend Larry Doby, a player who helped break the Major League Baseball color barrier, would receive the honor.

“Today is a joyous day for sports and for this country,” said Pascrell. “Larry Doby endured horrendous racism and malice on and off the field to move America forward. The vitriol he had thrown at him would’ve crushed most people, but Larry was an incredibly courageous man who understood the importance of helping to break the color barrier in baseball. For too long, Larry Doby’s courageous contributions to American civil rights have been overlooked. Awarding him this medal from our national legislature will give his family and his legacy more well-deserved recognition for his heroism. I want to thank Rep. Jim Renacci; Senators Sherrod Brown, Rob Portman, Cory Booker, and Bob Menendez; and so many others for their hard work in finally giving Larry his due.”

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After serving in the United States Navy in World War II and playing in the Negro League for the Newark Eagles, including in Paterson’s Hinchliffe Stadium, Lawrence Eugene “Larry” Doby who passed away at the age of 79 in 2003 became the first African American to play professional baseball in the American League in 1947.

Enshrined in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998 and with the U.S. Post Office at 194 Ward Street named in his honor, Doby had a storied career appearing in 1,533 games as a player appearing in seven All-Star games in his 13-year career, becoming the first African American to hit a home run in a World Series, and setting a record for 164 consecutive games without an error. In 1978 Doby became just the second black Major League club manager when he was hired as the skipper for the Chicago White Sox.

 

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