List of first black Major League Baseball players

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.

Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame


Player Team League Date
Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers NL April 15, 1947
Larry Doby Cleveland Indians AL July 5, 1947
Hank Thompson St. Louis Browns AL July 17, 1947
Willard Brown St. Louis Browns AL July 19, 1947
Dan Bankhead Brooklyn Dodgers NL August 26, 1947
Roy Campanella Brooklyn Dodgers NL April 20, 1948
Satchel Paige Cleveland Indians AL July 9, 1948
Minnie Miñoso Cleveland Indians AL April 19, 1949
Don Newcombe Brooklyn Dodgers NL May 20, 1949
Monte Irvin New York Giants NL July 8, 1949
Luke Easter Cleveland Indians AL August 11, 1949
Sam Jethroe Boston Braves NL April 18, 1950
Luis Márquez Boston Braves NL April 18, 1951
Ray Noble New York Giants NL
Artie Wilson New York Giants NL
Harry Simpson Cleveland Indians AL April 21, 1951
Willie Mays New York Giants NL May 25, 1951
Sam Hairston Chicago White Sox AL July 21, 1951
Bob Boyd Chicago White Sox AL September 8, 1951
Sam 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

  • 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]
Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers NL April 15, 1947
Larry Doby Cleveland Indians AL July 5, 1947
Hank Thompson St. Louis Browns AL July 17, 1947
Hank Thompson New York Giants NL July 8, 1949
Monte Irvin
Sam Jethroe Boston Braves NL April 18, 1950
Minnie Miñoso Chicago White Sox AL May 1, 1951
Bob Trice Philadelphia Athletics AL September 13, 1953
Ernie Banks Chicago Cubs NL September 17, 1953
Curt Roberts* Pittsburgh Pirates NL April 13, 1954
Tom Alston St. Louis Cardinals NL April 13, 1954
Nino Escalera Cincinnati Reds NL April 17, 1954
Chuck Harmon[3]
Carlos Paula Washington Senators AL September 6, 1954
Elston Howard New York Yankees AL April 14, 1955
John Kennedy Philadelphia Phillies NL April 22, 1957
Ozzie Virgil, Sr.[4] Detroit Tigers AL June 6, 1958
Pumpsie 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


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