The Five Players Who Broke Baseball’s Color Barrier- Updat

April 18, 2007 |

Yesterday I mentioned that there were actually five African-American players who entered the majors in 1947,  However I couldn’t find the name of the fifth guy.   Well, thanks to my brother Andrew (who must’ve told his wife it was critically important that he do research so that he could avoid diaper and feeding duty) I have the answer for you.  It seems the St. Louis Browns, who were the worst team in baseball, purchased the contracts of Hank Thompson and the guy whose name I couldn’t find- Willard Brown.  It’s a shame more people don’t know about this guy.  Brown, who was 36 at the time he was called up, was released after playing in only 21 games with a batting average of .179.  However, he’s considered one of the greatest players to ever play in the Negro Leagues and went on to hit .417 in the Negro American League in 1951. 

In 22 years of professional baseball Willard Brown hit a combined .305, including .352 in the Negro Leagues.

He passed away in 1996 and was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

I wanted to write more about things sports related and things funny but…

As I’m writing this I can’t help but think of the poor kids and faculty members killed in Blacksburg Va.  My job is to find the funny in all situations but not today.  It’s a tragedy of immense proportion and my heart, as well as Andrew’s, goes out to the families and loved ones of those victims whose only crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong time when a very sick individual committed an act of violence that no one will ever forget.  I’m not a news reporter or columnist so I’m not going to comment on what might’ve been done to avoid what happened except to say if warning signs were missed and miscommunication led to more deaths than something must be changed. 

Enough written for today…

MU

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