Rare Circa 1948 Cleveland Indians "I'm For Larry Doby" Pennant

Sold For: $960

Auction Year: 2017 spring

Lot: 1952

Item Year: 1948

Category: Post-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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Rare circa 1948 Cleveland Indians pennant issued specifically so fans could visually support Larry Doby, the first African-American player in the American League. The blue-felt pennant features a large portrait image of Doby, to the lower left of which is the text "I'm For Larry Doby." The team name, "Cleveland Indians" appears to the right. This is the first example of this pennant we have ever handled, and we have seen only a few others at auction in the past twenty years. Larry Doby broke the color barrier in the American League, signing with Cleveland Indians in August 1947. Although he endured much of the same racial pressures and problems encountered by Jackie Robinson, who made his debut with the Dodgers just eleven weeks earlier, he did so with far less media attention than Robinson. This pennant provided Cleveland fans with a means to show their support for Doby during games in a manner for all to see. Like Robinson with the Dodgers, Doby quickly made his presence felt in the American League and helped lead Cleveland to the 1948 World Championship. A seven-time All-Star selection, Doby finished his career with a .283 average, 253 home runs, and 970 RBI. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1998. The pennant (27.5 inches) displays a clip to one of the four tassels, light crazing, and what appears to be a tiny loss of material along the upper left portion of the top border (barely noticeable). In Excellent condition overall. Reserve $300. Estimate (open).

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