July 21, 1959

On July 21, 1959, the Boston Red Sox became the last Major League baseball team to integrate and use a black player, Jerry “Pumpsie” Green. It had become apparent, even to the most racist of team owners and managers, that denying a player an opportunity based on the color of their skin would give you a losing record and no championships, especially if every other team in the league was snatching up and using the best of the black players. Even Boston’s hated rival, the New York Yankees, had integrated in 1955 by purchasing the contract of Elston Howard. All Elston Howard did was help the Yankees win four pennants from 1955 to 1959 and two World Series.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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