July 21, 1959: Last to integrate
Submitted by BTGrimes on Sat, 07/21/2012 - 9:00am
Red Sox last to integrate
JULY 21, 1959 • CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – Elijah “Pumpsie” Green was put in as a pinch runner for the Boston Red Sox on this night in 1959 completing what Jackie Robinson started in 1947. Every other major league team had had an African American in the lineup by this time, except the Red Sox.
It was a bumpy road for Green through the Red Sox system. He was invited to training camp in Scottsdale, Arizona that spring and reportedly had a good one, but was sent to Minneapolis to start the season.
The Boston chapter of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) asked for an investigation to determine if Green had been discriminated against as a player and in the housing he was provided.
According to a July 22, 1959 United Press International story, the Red Sox had said “they would call a Negro player when they developed one of major league caliber in their farm system.” The Red Sox now believed they had “a Negro of major league caliber,” and team was cleared of discrimination.
Here are the first Black players for each team and the season of their first game:
1947...Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn
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