"The legacy for diversity in Major League Baseball was established more than 60 years ago, in 1947, by both Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "Major League Baseball is forever grateful to both men and their families. Their historic legacy has continued and will continue until fair and equal employment opportunity in baseball is available to all, regardless of race, religion or gender."
Selig went on to discuss the importance of baseball as a "significant social institution" and credited the contributions made by Robinson and Doby as the most important development in baseball during the 20th century.
"Many times I have said that Jackie Robinson entering into the big leagues -- followed by Larry Doby 11 weeks later, thus ending the game's segregation -- was Baseball's proudest moment and its most powerful social statement," he said.
"And thanks to Jackie and Larry, baseball -- for the first time -- became our true National Pastime."