This week as part of Black History Month, we look back at the pioneers of Baseball and those that came 1st in Major League Baseball for each team. Today we celebrate Hank Thompson, Monte Irvin, but we also pause to acknowledge Willard Brown, Dan Bankhead (1st black pitcher in the National League), Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe, Satchel Paige (1st black pitcher in the American League), Minnie Minoso and Luke Easter.
July 17th 1947 saw Hank Thompson debut with the St. Louis Browns, just two days ahead of teammate Willard Brown. Thompson played in the Negro Leagues for Kansas City.
July 8th 1949 Hank Thompson did it again, this time debuting with the New York Giants along with fellow pioneer Monte Irvin. Thompson would be the only player to integrate two teams, and the first to play in both the National and American Leagues.
Prior to the next team 1st, we saw debuts of Willard Brown (St. Louis), Dan Bankhead, Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe (Brooklyn) & Satchel Paige, Minnie Minoso and Luke Easter (Cleveland)