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Black History In Major League Baseball

Facts you may not have known or thought you knew about Black history in America's pastime

1. 1884 MOSES WALKER, FIRST BLACK PRO BASEBALL PLAYER
Moses 'Fleetwood' Walker played catcher for the Toledo Blue Stockings of the American Baseball
Association until the league morphed into the American Baseball League in 1887, at which time the National and American leagues both instituted their infamous "No Blacks" policy which stood in effect until April 15, 1947 when Jackie Robinson broke the MLB color barrier. This event ended the careers of Moses Walker and his younger brother Welday who played left field for the team.

The Toledo franchise was terminated when the American Association changed to the American
League, thus removing Walker's name from the history books as the first Black to play for one of the American or National Leagues.


2. 1930 NEGRO LEAGUE ORIGINATES NIGHT BASEBALL
While the first night game in the National League (1935) between the Cincinnati Reds and the
Philadelphia Athletics is recorded as being the first night game in major league baseball, it was the game between the Kansas City Monarchs and the House of David, played in 1930 that was the first baseball game between professional teams played under the lights in the United States.

Rumor has it that one of the MLB's owners had attended a Negro League night game and convinced the other owners that night baseball could be a way to generate a lot more nterest and income because it would attract fans who did not have to work at night.

3. 1947 JACKIE ROBINSON WINS MLB ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD
This award, presented to the best new player, was bestowed upon one player in all of baseball. Some say the award was created specially for Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers, credited with being the first Black player in Major league baseball (But see #1 above).

4. Feb, 1948 NEWCOMBE WINS INAUGURAL CY YOUNG AWARD
Don Newcombe of the National League's Brooklyn Dodgers, became the first ever winner of the Cy Young Award, the highest honor a major league pitcher can achieve. For the first eleven years the honor was bestowed upon the best pitcher in all of baseball. Since 1959 the award has been
presented to the best pitcher in each league.

In the 58 year history of he award there have been just six Black winners, three in each league and
only Bob Gibson (1968, 1970) of the St Louis Cardinals has won twice.

5. July 8, 1948 At 42, Cleveland Indians' Satchel Paige becomes oldest player to debut in a major
league game

6. Jul 15, 1948 Leroy 'Satchel' Paige Becomes First Black pitcher to win a MLB game.
The game, against the Philadelphia Athletics, came one day after he pitched an exhibition game against the Brooklyn Dodgers the night before in front of a crowd of 65,000.

7. July 9, 1948
Leroy 'Satchel' Paige Becomes First MLB pitcher to throw "Hesitation pitch".
The pitch so confused batters that it was later declared illegal by baseball's commissioner.

8. Oct 6, 1948 DOBY BECOMES FIRST BLACK WORLD SERIES PLAYER
Cleveland Indians Outfielder Larry Doby became the first Black players to participate in a
World Series. Doby started all six games and on Oct 9 became the first Black player to hit
a home run in a World Series. Larry Doby was elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame in 1998

9. Oct 10, 1948 Leroy 'Satchel' Paige Becomes First Black pitcher to appear in a World Series game 4.

10. Oct 11, 1948 With Larry Doby, Leroy 'Satchel' Paige Becomes First Black players to become World Series champion

* July 8, 1952 First Black pitcher named to a MLB all-star game

* Sep 25, 1965 At 59, oldest player to start a major league game (Three scoreless innings). Kansas City Athletics owner had signed Satch for one day in order to qualify him for MLB pension.

11. 1971 Leroy 'Satchel' Paige named to MLB Hall of Fame
Leroy 'Satchel' Paige was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame by a ten man committee designated by Commissioner Bowie Khun to select the first four players from the Negro Leagues for induction because of past discrimination.

Other notable losses in 2015
03 Jan, 2015 Senator Edward Brooke (R-MA) First Black senator since reconstruction
05 Jan, 2015 Tuskegee Airmen Clarence Huntley, JR and Joseph Shambrey die on the same day
21 Jan, 2015 Gospel Musician Andre Crouch
23 Jan, 2015 MR Cub Ernie Banks Chicago Cubs legend and Hall of Famer
01 Feb, 2015 Scott Stuart Sports analyst for ESPN Sports



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