The game of baseball was integrated in 1947, first by Jackie Robinson in the National League, and then by Larry Doby in the American League a few months later. They are pioneers, not just of baseball but of the civil rights movement. And in just a few years, they could be on a U.S. coin.
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the integration of baseball, which will happen in 2022, four congressmen are sponsoring the Integration of Baseball Commemorative Coin Act. Robinson and Doby would be on the coin to pay tribute to their accomplishments and their sacrifices as the first two African-American men to break the color barrier in baseball.
On hand at the announcement on Wednesday were three of the sponsors — Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, Rep. Roger Williams of Texas, and Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana — and Hall of Famer Andre Dawson. According to Roll Call, Dawson is an avid coin collector, and was delighted to be at the announcement of a coin honoring Robinson and Doby.
“I learned a great deal from both of these individuals about…how you got to prepare yourself at that level to move forward, to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played and to get the most out of your blessings, your ability,”
The congressmen all seemed pretty thrilled to have Dawson in their presence, especially Richmond, who played baseball at Morehouse College.
“I’m now standing next to Andre Dawson. I realize why I never made it to the next level.”
In his remarks, Sen. Scott reflected on the importance of Robinson and Doby to him as an African-American, and to the civil rights movement as a whole.
“If it wasn’t for folks like Jackie Robinson, folks like…Larry Doby, myself and Cedric Richmond could not be here today. The fact of the matter is that we stand on those shoulders of giants. Men that went through things that today are harder to imagine than they were at the time, men who suffered violence, challenges.”
The coin would be only sold in 2022, and available in $5, $1, and .50 cent denominations. The design of the Robinson/Doby coin hasn’t been revealed yet, but Roll Call said that it will be in the shape of a baseball diamond.
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