Monday, February 07, 2005

Cleveland and Minority Hirings Random Thoughts from a Wasted Mind by Dale Galbraith: "In 1947 Cleveland Indian Larry Doby was the first black baseball player to play in the American League. He experienced the same tribulations that Jackie Robinson encountered in the National League.

In 1975 Indians player-manager Frank Robinson was the first black field manager in the Major Leagues. He held the spot through 1977. The Indians were the first to hire a black manager but have failed to do so since Robinson’s departure.

Toward the end of 1985-86 season Cavalier’s assistant coach Gene Littles replaced George Carl making him the first black head coach in the team’s history. The Cavs named Lenny Wilkens as their head guy the following season. Current coach Paul Silas has been in place since 2003. He followed John Lucas and interim coach Keith Smart. It seems the NBA is closer than MLB and the NFL in regard to equal employment opportunities.

In 2004 Terry Robiskie, though only on an interim basis, became the first black head coach of the Cleveland Browns.

Romeo Crennel in all likelihood will be the  next coach of the Cleveland Browns. If the rumor is true he will retain Terry Robiskie as offensive coordinator and bring in Pepper Johnson as defensive coordinator. That  will mark another first made by a Cleveland team. It will be the first time black coach’s hold the top three coaching positions on an AFC team.

This occurred before in the NFL, but it happened with an NFC team. In 1999 the Green Bay Packers made NFL history hiring Ray Rhodes as the head coach. His coordinators were Sherman Lewis on offense and Emmitt Thomas on defense. Unfortunately the Packers didn’t give him much of an opportunity. They fired Rhodes after an 8-8 record in his first year.

It has been fifty-eight years since Larry Doby took the field as a Cleveland Indian. It has been thirty years since player-manager Frank Robinson hit that Opening Day home run. With that being said, if the 2005 Browns top three coaches are black it will be a significant time in history.

Hopefully we will get to a day when occurrences like these are commonplace and not moments of historical value."

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