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Indians to retire Doby's No. 14

CLEVELAND, June 7 -- The Cleveland Indians announced Tuesday they will honor Hall of Famer Larry Doby with the retirement of his uniform number 14 during a pre-game ceremony July 3.

The ceremony before the Tribe's game against the Minnesota Twins will cap a weekend celebration of black baseball.

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July 3 will be the 47th anniversary of the day that former Indians owner Bill Veeck signed Doby to a major league contract and broke the color barrier in the American League.

Doby's No. 14 will be the fifth uniform number retired by the Indians. The others are Bob Feller's No. 19, Lou Boudreau's No. 5, Earl Averill's No. 3, and Mel Harder's No. 18.

No. 14 is currently worn by Indians first base coach Dave Nelson.

'I am happy to give up my number for Larry Doby,' said Nelson. 'What he went through made it possible for me to sign with the Indians in 1964 and make it to the big leagues in '68. He, Jackie Robinson and the others are responsible for where I am today.'

Doby, the first black player in the American League, played with the Indians for 10 years. His major league career spanned 13 seasons. In addition, Doby was the second black major league manager after Frank Robinson managed the Indians in '75. Doby managed the Chicago White Sox from June 30, 1978 until the conclusion of the '78 season.

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The Indians' weekend celebration of Black Baseball Legends will begin on Friday, July 1, with an afternoon educational program with Negro League players and a showing of the 'Kings of the Hill' video to students at Cleveland State University.

The celebration concludes Monday, July 4, with a pre-game picnic with fans and Negro League stars at Jacobs Field.

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