Remember history class? Okay, neither do I. But those nerds who actually stayed awake through most of it can probably recall being taught about some guys named “The Wright Brothers” being the first to fly a plane or some other guy named “Columbus” discovering The New World.
History gets heavily edited and while most of those who wind up on the cutting room floor do so for good reason (like they weren’t such a big deal after all) there are others who get denied their day in the sun for not-so-good reasons. Here are their names, their claim to greatness and the reason you won’t see a movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis made about them.
10. Larry Doby
Larry Doby was a black man who bravely entered the not-so-friendly world of major league baseball in the late forties, enduring racial taunts, death threats and blatant injustice. So why is this trailblazer remembered only by die hard baseball historians? Because he did all this eleven weeks after Jackie Robinson did them.
It doesn’t take a historian to know that not much had changed between Robinson’s April 15th debut in the big leagues and Doby’s July 5th opening day — it was still 1947. But a year later Doby and new teammate Satchel Paige would become the first black players to win a World Series championship. He was also voted an American League all-star for seven consecutive seasons and later became the first African-American to play baseball in Japan. Despite these achievements, Hollywood has yet to produce a bloated three hour biopic based on his extraordinary life, with an embarrassingly miscast star in the lead. Tragic.