List of first black Major League Baseball players
Below is a list of the first black players in Major League Baseball in chronological order, since the abolition of the Baseball color line. Before 1885 at least three African-American men played in the major leagues--William Edward White, whose light skin color allowed him pass as white, played one game for the Providence Grays in 1879; Moses Fleetwood Walker, an openly black man who played for the Toledo Blue Stockings of the American Association between May 1 and September 4, 1884; and his brother, Welday Walker, who played a five games with the Toledo club between July 15 and August 6, 1884. Baseball officials essentially drew the color line against Fleetwood Walker. African-Americans had been excluded from major league baseball since 1884 and from white professional minor league teams since 1889. Following the 1891 season, the Ansonia Cuban Giants, a team composed of African-American players, were expelled from the Connecticut State League, the last white minor league to have a black team.
|†||Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame|
Below is a list of the first 20 black players in Major League Baseball since Moses Fleetwood Walker's last major league appearance.
- Note: Johnny Wright was the second black player signed to a contract by the Dodgers, and was on the roster of the 1946 Montreal Royals at the same time as Jackie Robinson, but never played in the Major Leagues.
- 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.
|Brooklyn Dodgers||NL||April 15, 1947||Jackie Robinson †|
|Cleveland Indians||AL||July 5, 1947||Larry Doby †|
|St. Louis Browns||AL||July 17, 1947||Hank Thompson|
|New York Giants||NL||July 8, 1949‡||Hank Thompson|
|Monte Irvin †|
|Boston Braves||NL||April 18, 1950||Sam Jethroe|
|Chicago White Sox||AL||May 1, 1951||Minnie Miñoso|
|Philadelphia Athletics||AL||September 13, 1953||Bob Trice|
|Chicago Cubs||NL||September 17, 1953||Ernie Banks †|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||NL||April 13, 1954||Curt Roberts*|
|St. Louis Cardinals||NL||April 13, 1954||Tom Alston|
|Cincinnati Reds||NL||April 17, 1954||Nino Escalera|
|Washington Senators||AL||September 6, 1954||Carlos Paula|
|New York Yankees||AL||April 14, 1955||Elston Howard|
|Philadelphia Phillies||NL||April 22, 1957||John Kennedy|
|Detroit Tigers||AL||June 6, 1958||Ozzie Virgil, Sr.|
|Boston Red Sox||AL||July 21, 1959||Pumpsie Green|
* 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.
‡ Thompson and Irvin broke in with the Giants during the same game on July 8, 1949. Hank was the starting third baseman, and Monte pinch hit in the eighth.
- History of baseball in the United States
- Negro league baseball
- List of Negro League baseball players
- List of first black players for European national football teams
- List of black quarterbacks
- Men Kleinknecht. "Integration of Baseball After World War II". Society for American Baseball Research.
- O'Connell, Jack (2007-04-13). "Robinson's many peers follow his lead". MLB.com. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
- Tygiel, Jules (1983), Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy, New York: Oxford University Press, p. 329, ISBN 0195033000