Clyde Leroy Sukeforth
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Clyde Sukeforth, a former player and scout who was part of integrating baseball with Jackie Robinson, died on Sept. 3, 2000, at the age of 98.
He was a catcher in the Major Leagues, hiting .264 with 2 HRs and 96 RBIs. Following his playing career, he was a scout and coach with the Dodgers.
His biggest contribution to baseball history came in working with Branch Rickey to scout Jackie Robinson as he played for the Kansas City Monarchs in 1945. Robinson did not play in that game, but Sukeforth set up a meeting between Robinson and Rickey. Two years later, Robinson integrated baseball with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
On April 15, 1947, Sukeforth was acting manager for the Dodgers on the day Robinson debuted. Sukeforth was filling in for Leo Durocher. Brooklyn defeated Boston, 5-3.
He debuted as a player in 1926 with the Reds and he hit .354 for the Reds in 1929. Two years later, he injured his eye in a hunting accident and it bothered his hitting for the rest of his career.
From 1936 to 1951, Sukeforth was a scout for the Dodgers. He later worked as a scout for Pittsburgh and Atlanta. He signed Don Newcombe and Roberto Clemente, among others.
He attended Georgetown University.
Source: Associated Press