CLEVELAND (AP) — Jim "Mudcat" Grant says Hall of Famer Larry Doby, his first roommate with the Cleveland Indians, deserves the same recognition as Jackie Robinson.
Grant proudly participated in ceremonies Friday as the Indians commemorated the 65th anniversary of Doby breaking the AL's color barrier by renaming a street in his honor.
"Larry did a lot more than people realize," Grant said. "There's no denying either man's place in history. For those who say Jackie sometimes gets a tad too much recognition, I say Larry does not get nearly enough."
Doby made his debut for Cleveland on July 5, 1947. Robinson's historic first game came three months earlier, on April 15 for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
"Larry went through everything Jackie did, was called the same names, treated the same way," said Grant, 76, who joined the Indians in 1958 as Doby was nearing the end of his career. After 6½ years in Cleveland, Grant was traded to Minnesota and became a 20-game winner in 1965. He played for seven teams overall through 1971.
"Larry had to display the same patience and avoid showing any anger," Grant said. "He taught me how to play the game, but also to deal with issues still in place. In some cities then, a black man still could not sit in certain restaurants, drink from certain water fountains, stay in certain hotels.