This week we continue our celebration of Black History Month, looking back at the impact of African Americans on our National Pastime with “Baseball Firsts”.
Three months after Jackie Robinson makes his debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Larry Doby would become the first black player when he pinch hits for the Cleveland Indians (7/5/47)
8/26/47 – Dan Bankhead becomes the first black pitcher to play in the major leagues for the Brooklyn Dodgers and hits a home run in his first major league at bat.
The newly minted Rookie of the Year Award is awarded to Jackie Robinson on 9/17/47. Since no player has ever won the award, it is clear that this would be the first black player to win the award.
The 1947 World Series would feature the first two black players – Jackie Robinson and Dan Bankhead.
1948 would see the Dodgers continue to set the tone for the rest of the league, this time adding Roy Campanella to the team to become the first black catcher to make an appearance on 4/20/48. Don Newcombe would join the team in 1949.