Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Integration of Baseball
62 years ago today Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. That seems really long ago yet not that long at all. The Indians and Browns would integrate later that same year. The Giants were next, but it took two more years. The Braves followed a year later in 1950. The White Sox a year after that. Then Eisenhower was elected. By the end of the 1953 season half the teams in the league had been integrated. Four teams in each league. Four more followed suit in 1954. The Yankees finally came around in 1955. 1956: Ike re-elected. The Phillies completed the National Leagues' integration in 1957, ten years and one week after Jackie first took the field. The Tigers integrated in 1958, leaving only the Red Sox. They finally called up Pumpsie on July 21st, 1959. Almost 50 years ago. Pumpsie beat Hawaii's statehood by a month. It still feels like a long time ago. But not really that long at all.