List of first black Major League Baseball players by team

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Below is a list of the first black players in Major League Baseball by team in chronological order. The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) strongly suggests that William Edward White may have been the first African-American to play major league baseball (as well as the only former slave), predating Moses Fleetwood Walker by five years; and Jackie Robinson by 68 years.

Major League Baseball specifically drew the Baseball color line specifically against Moses Fleetwood Walker, that also included African-Americans being excluded from major league baseball from 1884 to 1946 (and all of minor league baseball following suit in 1889), with the aforementioned segregation ending with the introduction of Jackie Robinson.


Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame


  • Teams are listed by franchise; i.e., teams that relocated to a new city after already breaking the color line are not listed a second time.
  • Expansion teams that joined the National and American Leagues after 1961 have been integrated from their first game and are not listed.
Player Team Date[1]
White, William EdwardWilliam Edward White Providence Grays, NL June 21, 1879
Walker, Moses FleetwoodMoses Fleetwood Walker Toledo Blue Stockings, AA May 1, 1884
Walker, WeldyWeldy Walker Toledo Blue Stockings, AA July 15, 1884
Robinson, JackieJackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers, NL April 15, 1947
Doby, LarryLarry Doby Cleveland Indians, AL July 5, 1947
Thompson, HankHank Thompson St. Louis Browns, AL July 17, 1947
Irvin, MonteMonte Irvin New York Giants, NL July 8, 1949
Thompson, HankHank Thompson New York Giants, NL July 8, 1949
Jethroe, SamSam Jethroe Boston Braves, NL April 18, 1950
Miñoso, MinnieMinnie Miñoso Chicago White Sox, AL May 1, 1951
Trice, BobBob Trice Philadelphia Athletics, AL September 13, 1953
Banks, ErnieErnie Banks Chicago Cubs, NL September 17, 1953
Roberts, CurtCurt Roberts* Pittsburgh Pirates, NL April 13, 1954
Alston, TomTom Alston St. Louis Cardinals, NL April 13, 1954
Escalera, NinoNino Escalera Cincinnati Reds, NL April 17, 1954
Harmon, ChuckChuck Harmon[2] Cincinnati Reds, NL April 17, 1954
Paula, CarlosCarlos Paula Washington Senators, AL September 6, 1954
Howard, ElstonElston Howard New York Yankees, AL April 14, 1955
Kennedy, JohnJohn Kennedy Philadelphia Phillies, NL April 22, 1957
Virgil, Sr., OzzieOzzie Virgil, Sr.[3] Detroit Tigers, AL June 6, 1958
Green, PumpsiePumpsie Green Boston Red Sox, AL July 21, 1959

* Major League Baseball recognizes Curt Roberts as the Pirates' first black player, however Carlos Bernier of Puerto Rico, also a black man, debuted on April 22, 1953.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ O'Connell, Jack (2007-04-13). "Robinson's many peers follow his lead". Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Tygiel, Jules (1983), Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy, New York: Oxford University Press, p. 329, ISBN 0195033000 
  4. ^