This week as part of Black History Month, we look back at the pioneers of Negro Baseball and those that came 1st in Major League Baseball for each team. Today we celebrate Sam Jethroe and Minnie Minoso.
April 18th 1950 featured the debut of Sam Jethroe of the Boston Braves. Jethroe one of the fastest players in the league, he would lead the league in stolen bases in each of his first two seasons. Jethroe had previously tried out for the Red Sox in 1945, but was not signed.
May 1st 1951 saw Minnie Minoso debut with the Chicago White Sox. Minoso actually signed with Cleveland but was traded to the White Sox and played for parts of 5 decades.
Because Minoso was Cuban, some credit the breaking of the color barrier by the White Sox to Sam Hairston on July 21st 1951. Hairston was the father and grandfather of major leaguers – Jerry Hairston and Scott Hairston.
Prior to the next team 1st, we saw debuts of Luis Marques (Boston Braves), Ray Noble, Artie Wilson & Willie Mays (NY Giants), Harry Simpson & Sam Jones (Cleveland) & Sam Hairston & Bob Boyd (White Sox)