Let's take a look at some black firsts in the Major Leagues. We all know that in 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first black Major League baseball player. Well, that's not completely a fact. We should probably say that Jackie was the first "modern day" black ball player.
Moses Fleetwood Walker signed with the minor league Northwestern League Toledo Blue Stockings in 1883. The Toledo club became a Major League team when they joined the American Association in 1884 and competed against the National League.
Moses made his Major League debut as a catcher on May 1, 1884 against the Louisville Eclipse. Walker batted .263 in 42 games.
Walker's brother Welday also joined the club that year and played in six games. These brothers are the first known African Americans to play Major League Baseball.
Now, on to Jackie Robinson. Jackie became the first black player to sign a formal Major League contract on October 23, 1945, with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was assigned to their triple A affiliate in Montreal.
On April 18, 1946, Jackie became the first black minor leaguer with the Montreal Royals against the Jersey City Little Giants.
Robinson became the first modern day black player in the Major Leagues on April 15, 1947 with Brooklyn. He went hitless. The next day Jackie got a bunt single to become the first black to get a base hit.
On July 5, 1947, Larry Doby became the first black player in the American League when he pinch hit for the Cleveland Indians.
Dan Bankhead was the first black to pitch in the big leagues with Brooklyn on August 26, 1947. He also hit a home run that day in his first at bat.
In 1947, the Rookie Of The Year Award started. Jackie Robinson won the award to become the first black player to win it.
The Dodgers went to the World Series in 1947 making Bankhead and Robinson the first blacks to play in a World Series.
Also in 1947, Jackie became the first black to lead the National League in stolen bases when he swiped 29.
On August 13, 1948, Satchel Paige was the first black to pitch an American League game with Cleveland. He shut out the Chicago White Sox.
Larry Doby was the first black player to hit a World Series home run on October 9, 1948. During that same series, Satchel Paige became the first black to pitch in a World Series. He came in in relief and pitched 2/3 of an inning.
On July 12, 1949 something interesting happened. Don Newcombe of the Dodgers pitched to Hank Thompson of the New York Giants. This was the first time a black pitcher faced a black batter.
Larry Doby was the first black American League All Star in 1949. That same season Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe were the first black National League All Stars.
Jackie Robinson was the first black player to win the Most Valuable Player Award in 1949, while Newcombe became the first black pitcher to win the Rookie Of The Year Award.
In 1951, Don Newcombe led the National League with 164 strike outs to be the first black pitcher to accomplish that. Monte Irvin led the league with 121 runs batted in to be the first black to lead the league in RBIs.
On October 1, 1952, Dodger pitcher Joe Black became the first black to win a World Series game by defeating the New York Yankees.
Larry Doby led the American League with 32 home runs and a .541 slugging average in 1952 to be the first black to lead in either category.
The Brooklyn Dodgers were the first club to field a team starting more blacks than whites. On July 17, 1954 five of the staring nine were black. Jim Gilliam played third base, Jackie Robinson was at second base, Sandy Amoros played left field, Roy Campanella was the catcher and Don Newcombe pitched.
On May 12, 1955, Sam Jones pitched the first no hitter by a black pitcher. Also in 1955, Newcombe became the first black to win 20 games.
Roy Campanella won the Most Valuable Player Award in 1955. It was his third MVP Award making him the first black to win as many.
Don Newcombe was the first African American to win the Cy Young Award in 1956. That was the first year the award was given.
Newcombe won 27 games in 1956 to become the first black to lead either league in wins.
Ernie Banks won the Most Valuable Player Award in 1958 and 1959 to be the first black to win consecutive MVP awards.
In 1961, Willie Mays became the first black player to hit four home runs in a single game.
Jackie Robinson became the first black player inducted into baseball's Hall Of Fame in 1962.
Buck O'Neil was the first black Major League coach with the Chicago Cubs in 1962.
In 1963, Elston Howard of the Yankees became the first black to win the American League's Most Valuable Player Award.
Willie Mays became the first black to be named team captain in 1964.
On April 11, 1966, Emmitt Ashford became the first black Major League umpire.
Frank Robinson became the first black and only the 12th player ever to win the Triple Crown with the Baltimore Orioles.
On September 1, 1971, the Pittsburgh Pirates became the first team to field a staring line up of nine black players. Al Oliver played first base, Rennie Stennett was at second base, Jackie Hernandez played short stop, Dave Cash started at third. The Outfield was Willie Stargell in left field, gene Clines in center and Roberto Clemente in right. Manny Sanguillen was the catcher and Doc Ellis pitched.
On April 8, 1975, Frank Robinson became the first black Major League manager with the Cleveland Indians.
In 1992, the Toronto Blue Jays' Cito Gaston became the first black manager to win a World Series. The Blue Jays won the series again in 1993 making Gaston the first black manager to win consecutive World Series.Here's a list of major League clubs and the first African American player for each:
Baltimore Orioles- Jay Heard- 4/24/54
Boston Red Sox- Pumpsie Green- 7-21-59
Chicago White Sox- Minne Minoso- 5/1/51
Cleveland Indians- Larry Doby- 7/5/47
Detroit Tigers- Ozzie Virgil- 6/6/58
Kansas City Athletics- Bob Trice- 9/13/53
Los Angeles Angels- Julio Becquer- 4/11/61
New York Yankees- Elston Howard- 4/14/55
St. Louis Browns- Hank Thompson- 7/17/47
Washington Senators- Carlos Paula- 9/6/54
Brooklyn Dodgers- Jackie Robinson- 4/125/47
Boston Braves- Sam Jethroe- 4/18/50
Chicago Cubs- Chuck Harmon and Nino Escalera- 4/17/54
Houston Colt 45s- Roman Mejias, Jim Pendelton, Johnny Weekly- 4/13/62
New York Giants- Monte Irvin, Hank Thompson- 7/8/49
New York Mets- Charlie neal, Felix Mantilla- 4/13/62
Philadelphia Phillies- John Kennedy- 4/22/57
Pittsburgh Pirates- Curt Roberts- 4/13/54
St Louis Cardinals- Tom Alston- 4/13/54
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