First black players for each major league baseball team

By ♦ September 15, 2012

When Jackie Robinson debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers at the start of the 1947 season it integrated Major League Baseball after several decades of exclusion for player’s of color. But even though Jackie’s act was historic, it also served as a beginning – a beginning of a new MLB landscape. Not every team had a black player in ’47, in fact only two of the other 15 clubs integrated that same year.

Here are the first black players for each of the 16 MLB teams of that era. Some teams had more than one black player appear for the first time in the same game.

Jackie Robinson
Brooklyn Dodgers
April 15, 1947

Larry Doby
Cleveland Indians
July 5, 1947

Hank Thompson
St. Louis Browns
July 17, 1947

Monte Irvin & Hank Thompson
New York Giants
July 8, 1949

Sam Jethroe
Boston Braves
April 18, 1950

Minnie Miñoso
Chicago White Sox
May 1, 1951

Bob Trice
Philadelphia A’s
September 13, 1953

Ernie Banks
Chicago Cubs
September 17, 1953

Curt Roberts
Pittsburgh Pirates
April 13, 1954

Tom Alston
St. Louis Cardinals
April 13, 1954

Nino Escalera & Chuck Harmon
Cincinnati Reds
April 17, 1954

Carlos Paula
Washington Senators
September 6, 1954

Elston Howard
New York Yankees
April 14, 1955

John Kennedy
Philadelphia Phillies
April 22, 1957

Ozzie Virgil Sr.
Detroit Tigers
June 6, 1958

Pumpsie Green
Boston Red Sox
July 21, 1959


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