share
by Allen J. Sheinman | February 14, 2014

February is Black History Month, and also the month that annual spring training commences down south for Major League Baseball. In honor of both, we present this list of the 17 men who became the first black ballplayers on their respective teams (one player, Hank Thompson, pioneered on two of them, also becoming the first African American to play in both the American and National leagues).

April 15, 1947: Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers (NL)
July 5, 1947: Larry Doby, Cleveland Indians (AL)
July 17, 1947: Hank Thompson, St. Louis Browns (AL)
July 8, 1949: Monte Irvin, New York Giants (NL)
July 8, 1949: Hank Thompson, New York Giants (NL)
April 18, 1950: Sam Jethroe, Boston Braves (NL)
May 1, 1951: Minnie Minoso, Chicago White Sox (AL)
Sept. 13, 1953: Bob Trice, Philadelphia Athletics (AL)
Sept. 17, 1953: Ernie Banks, Chicago Cubs (NL)
April 13, 1954: Curt Roberts, Pittsburgh Pirates (NL)
April 13, 1954: Tom Alston, St. Louis Cardinals (NL)
April 17, 1954: Nino Escalera, Cincinnati Reds (NL)
April 17, 1954: Chuck Harmon, Cincinnati Reds (NL)
Sept. 6, 1954: Carlos Paula, Washington Senators (AL)
April 14, 1955: Elston Howard, New York Yankees (AL)
April 22, 1957: John Kennedy, Philadelphia Phillies (NL)
June 6, 1958: Ozzie Virgil Sr., Detroit Tigers (AL)
July 21, 1959: Pumpsie Green, Boston Red Sox (AL)

Source: Meetings & Conventions