John Kennedy (shortstop)
October 12, 1926|
|Died: April 27, 1998
|April 22, 1957, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 3, 1957, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Runs batted in||0|
John Irvin Kennedy (October 12, 1926 – April 27, 1998) was a Major League Baseball shortstop. He signed as a free agent with the New York Giants before the 1953 season, was released before the 1954 season. Kennedy caught on with the Birmingham Black Barons, and later the Kansas City Monarchs, both of the Negro American League. Near the end of the 1956 season, with Kennedy having led the NAL batting race for most of the year, the Monarchs sold his contract to the Philadelphia Phillies.
When Kennedy made his major league debut (April 22, 1957 at Roosevelt Stadium), he became the first black player in Philadelphia Phillies history. The game was exactly 10 years to the day after manager Ben Chapman's Phillies had so taunted rookie Jackie Robinson in Brooklyn. Playing against the Brooklyn Dodgers, Kennedy entered the game in the top of the 8th inning as a pinch runner for Solly Hemus, who had doubled, but did not score. The Dodgers won, 5-1.
His next game was two days later, playing against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Connie Mack Stadium. He entered the game in the bottom of the 6th as a pinch runner for Harry Anderson, who had singled, and later scored on a bases-loaded triple by Ed Bouchee. The Phillies won, 8-5.
He got into a total of just five games, the last one on May 3, 1957. At the plate he was 0-for-2, including one strikeout. In his two appearances at shortstop he had one assist, one error, and participated in one double play.