List of first black Major League Baseball players

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Below is a list of the first black players in Major League Baseball in chronological order, since the abolition of the Baseball color line. During the 1880s, Moses Fleetwood Walker, a black man, had played for the Toledo Blue Stockings of the American Association (his brother Welday Walker also played a few games with the club), and it was essentially against Fleetwood Walker that the line was originally drawn. African-Americans had been excluded from major league baseball since 1884, and from all of professional baseball since 1889.

Key
Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame

Overall[edit]

Player Team League Date
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
Brown, WillardWillard Brown St. Louis Browns AL July 19, 1947
Bankhead, DanDan Bankhead Brooklyn Dodgers NL August 26, 1947
Campanella, RoyRoy Campanella Brooklyn Dodgers NL April 20, 1948
Paige, SatchelSatchel Paige Cleveland Indians AL July 9, 1948
Miñoso, MinnieMinnie Miñoso Cleveland Indians AL April 19, 1949
Newcombe, DonDon Newcombe Brooklyn Dodgers NL May 20, 1949
Irvin, MonteMonte Irvin New York Giants NL July 8, 1949
Easter, LukeLuke Easter Cleveland Indians AL August 11, 1949
Jethroe, SamSam Jethroe Boston Braves NL April 18, 1950
Márquez, LuisLuis Márquez Boston Braves NL April 18, 1951
Noble, RayRay Noble New York Giants NL
Wilson, ArtieArtie Wilson New York Giants NL
Simpson, HarryHarry Simpson Cleveland Indians AL April 21, 1951
Mays, WillieWillie Mays New York Giants NL May 25, 1951
Hairston, SamSam Hairston Chicago White Sox AL July 21, 1951
Boyd, BobBob Boyd Chicago White Sox AL September 8, 1951
Jones, SamSam Jones Cleveland Indians AL September 22, 1951

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.[1]

By team[edit]

  • 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 League Date[2]
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
Thompson, HankHank Thompson New York Giants NL July 8, 1949
Irvin, MonteMonte Irvin
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[3]
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.[4] 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.[5]
‡ 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.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Men Kleinknecht. "Integration of Baseball After World War II". Society for American Baseball Research. 
  2. ^ O'Connell, Jack (2007-04-13). "Robinson's many peers follow his lead". MLB.com. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  3. ^ http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100511&content_id=9962586&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin
  4. ^ Tygiel, Jules (1983), Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy, New York: Oxford University Press, p. 329, ISBN 0195033000 
  5. ^ http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/perspectives/carlos-bernier-more-than-a-footnote-683364/