Breaking a Barrier, One Team at a Time

Posted: April 08, 2007

After Jackie Robinson broke major-league baseball's color barrier by joining the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, other black players hoped to follow. Other teams, as well. But some teams, including the Phillies, remained reluctant to integrate for a decade or more.

Here is a list of the first black players on teams that existed when Robinson debuted and the date on which the franchises followed suit:

Player                      Team                            League                Date

Jackie Robinson             Brooklyn Dodgers            National             April 15, 1947

Larry Doby                   Cleveland Indians            American            July 5, 1947

Hank Thompson             St. Louis Browns               American            July 17, 1947

Monte Irvin                   New York Giants               National             July 8, 1949

Hank Thompson               New York Giants               National               July 8, 1949

Sam Jethroe                Boston Braves                  National             April 18, 1950

Minnie Minoso                Chicago White Sox            American             May 5, 1951

Bob Trice                   Philadelphia Athletics         American             Sept. 13, 1953

Ernie Banks                Chicago Cubs                  National               Sept. 17, 1953

Player                      Team                            League                Date

Curt Roberts                Pittsburgh Pirates            National               April 13, 1954

Tom Alston                   St. Louis Cardinals            National               April 13, 1954

Nino Escalera                Cincinnati Reds               National             April 17, 1954

Chuck Harmon                Cincinnati Reds               National               April 17, 1954   

Carlos Paula                Washington Senators         American             Sept. 6, 1954

Elston Howard                New York Yankees            American             April 14, 1955

John Kennedy                Philadelphia Phillies            National               April 22, 1957

Ozzie Virgil Sr.                Detroit Tigers                  American            June 6, 1958

Pumpsie Green                Boston Red Sox               American            July 21, 1959

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