When it was a game.net


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Whenitwasagame.net themes and content are dedicated to the remembrance, celebration and preservation of our baseball heritage.
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We the fans, the true “owners” of baseball, must hold the commissioner, the team owners, the players and their union accountable.
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Power surge
The '50s was the decade of power and the numbers put up by the untainted athletes were impressive.
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INSIDE:

CLUBHOUSE
CRONICLES

Jimmy Palermo, during a historic 7-day span in May, 1939, saw the meteoric rise of Williams and tragic decline of Gehrig.

THE GAME'S
GOLDEN ERA

An exclusive WIWAG ongoing feature.


MEMORIES
The field seemed vast to a 7-year old who had looked forward to this day for two months.

BREAKING THE COLOR LINE
The year marks the 60th anniversary of the first major league tryout for black players.

SPECIAL COLOR
LINE TIMELINE

Bud Fowler is the first know black players on an integrated team.

BOOMING BATS
of the '50s

Qualify as Grade A10.


AMERICA'S ORIGINAL
SPORTS BAR
First sports bar featured 12-inch Farnsworth TV.

BASEBALL
HISTORIANS

Two unsuspecting vintage baseball fans rediscover a "National Treasure."

Dodgers,

Tribe,

Browns

lead the

way in

1947

DODGERS
4-15-1947
Jackie

Robinson

INDIANS
7-5-1947
Larry

Doby

BROWNS
7-17-1947
Hank

Thompson

GIANTS
7-8-1949
Monte

Irvin and
Hank

Thompson

BRAVES
4-18-1950
Sam

Jethroe

WHITE

SOX
5-1-1951
Minnie

Minoso

A's
9-13-1953
Bob

Trice

CUBS
9-17-1953
Ernie

Banks

and

Gene

Baker

PIRATES
4-13-1954
Curt

Roberts

CARDS
4-13-1954
Tom

Alston

REDS
4-17-1954
Chuck

Harmon

and
Nino

Escalera

SENATORS
9-6-1954
Carlos

Paula

YANKEES
4-14-1955
Elston

Howard

PHILLIES
4-22-1957
John

Kennedy

TIGERS
1958
Ozzie

Virgil

RED SOX
7-21-1959
Pumpsie

Green


A HISTORICAL TIMELINE


1878
Bud Fowler is the first known professional black player on an integrated team when he plays in Lynn (IA) exhibition games.



5-1-1884
Moses Fleetwood Walker (far left, middle row) pictured here in an 1881 team photo of the Oberlin (Ohio) College team (back row second from right is Weldy Walker, Moses' brother), is the first black major league player.

He was the regular catcher for the 1884 Toledo Blue Stockings of the American Association and played for teams in Cleveland, Waterbury, Syracuse and Newark through the 1889 season. The offspring of a mixed marriage, he was very intelligent and outspoken against racism in all aspects of American society.

When Walker left baseball after the 1889 season the owners and players colluded on an "unwritten" agreement to exclude blacks from the major leagues.

10-1-1885
The Cuban Giants are organized by Frank P. Thompson and become the first group of professional black players.

6-16-1886
The Southern League of Colored Base Ballists is the first pro black sports league, play their first game, but dissolve in August.

5-6-1887
The National Colored League plays its first game, Gorhams 11 vs Keystones 8. The league will dissolve ten days later.

7-17-1903
Dan McClellan is the first black pitcher to throw a perfect game, Cuban X-Giants 5 vs Penn Park Athletic Club of York 0.

9-3-1906
The first Negro Championship Cup goes to the Philadelphia Giants 3 vs the Cuban X-Giants 2.

2-13-1920
The first successful league, the National Negro Baseball League, is formed by Rube Foster.

1924
The first "Negro World Series" is played between the Negro Eastern League and National Negro Leagues.


CHET BREWER
1938
Chet Brewer is the first black-American
player to enter the Mexican League.

4-16-1945 (click here for full COLORLINE PIONEER story)

WENDELL SMITH
The first, and little known, Major League tryout for black players is arranged by Wendell Smith, a black sportswriter for the Pittsburgh Courier and takes place at Fenway Park two years before the color barrier was broken.


It was supervised by four Hall of Famers: Hugh Duffy, a Red Sox coach; Joe Cronin, the manager; Eddie Collins, the general manager; and Tom Yawkey, the owner.
MARVIN WILLIAMS
Immediately following the tryout, all four tried to dodge responsibility for evaluating the players.

The tryout included two stars from the Negro League, Philadelphia Stars shortstop Marvin Williams and Cleveland Buckeyes outfielder Sam Jethroe, and ex-UCLA running back Jackie Robinson.

JACKIE ROBINSON signs a contract with the Dodgers as Branch Rickey looks on.

10-23-1945
Jackie Robinson is the first black player to sign a formal major league contract : Montreal Royals.


JACKIE ROBINSON
4-18-1946
Jackie Robinson is the first black minor leaguer (International League) in a game: Royals versus the Jersey City Little Giants

4-15-1947
Jackie Robinson plays his first major league game as a Brooklyn Dodger becoming the first modern black player.

4-16-1947
Jackie Robinson plays his second game and gets the first hit by a black player - a bunt that he beats out.

JACKIE ROBINSON stealing home in a World Series game.

6-24-1947
Jackie Robinson becomes the first black player to steal home plate as he gets his first of nineteen career home steals.


LARRY DOBY
7-5-1947

Larry Doby is the first black player and pinch hitter in the American League: Cleveland Indians.

8-26-1947
Dan Bankhead is the first black pitcher to play in a major league game (Brooklyn Dodgers) AND the first black player to hit a home run in his first major league at-bat.

9-17-1947
Jackie Robinson is the first black player to win a Rookie of the Year Award and does so during the award's first year it's ever issued.

9-30-1947

DAN BANKHEAD
Jackie Robinson and Dan Bankhead are the first black players to appear in a World Series.

1947
Jackie Robinson is the first black player to lead a league in stolen bases: National League 29.


SATCHEL PAIGE
8-13-1948
Satchel Paige is the first black pitcher in an American League game: Cleveland Indians (he shuts out Chicago).

10-9-1948
Larry Doby is the first black player to hit a home run in a World Series game.

10-10-1948
Satchel Paige is the first black pitcher to pitch in a World Series game, he appears in relief and pitches 2/3 of an inning.

1947

SAM LACY
Sam Lacy of Baltimore is the first black sportswriter admitted to the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). Lacy was inducted into the writer's wing at the baseball Hall of Fame in July 1998, and continued to write columns until he died at age 99.


DON NEWCOMBE
7-8-1949

Don Newcombe of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Hank Thompson of the New York Giants are the first black pitcher and batter to face each other during a game.


LARRY DOBY
7-12-1949
Larry Doby is the first black American League All Star player.

7-12-1949
Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, and Don Newcombe are the first black National League All Star players.

JACKIE ROBINSON with his 1949 National league MVP award.

11-18-1949
Jackie Robinson is the first black player to win a Most Valuable Player Award.

1949
Jackie Robinson is the first black player to lead a league in batting average: National League .342.


DON NEWCOMBE
1949
Don Newcombe is the first black pitcher to win a Rookie of the Year Award.

1951
Emmett Ashford is the first black umpire in organized baseball: Southwest International League.

1951
Don Newcombe is the first black pitcher to lead a league in strikeouts: National Leaue 164.

1951

MONTE IRVIN
Monte Irvin is the first black player to lead a league in runs batted in: National League 121.


JOE BLACK

10-1-1952
Joe Black of the Brooklyn Dodgers earns a victory versus the New York Yankees to become the first black pitcher to win a World Series game.

1952
Larry Doby is the first black player to lead a league in home runs: American League 32.

1952
Larry Doby is the first black player to lead a league in slugging average: American League .541.

7-17-1954

ROY CAMPANELLA

JUNIOR GILLIAM
The Brooklyn Dodgers field the first black majority team when five (Jim Gilliam 2b, Jackie Robinson 3b, Sandy Amoros lf, Roy Campanella c, and Don Newcombe p) of their nine play versus the Braves.

SAM "TOOTHPICK" JONES

5-12-1955
Sad Sam "Toothpick" Jones is the first black major league pitcher to throw a no-hitter.

9-5-1955
Don Newcombe is the first black pitcher to win twenty games in a single season of play.

1955
Roy Campanella is the first black player to win three Most Valuable Player Awards: 1951, 1953 & 1955.


Black NL MVP AWARD WINNERS (1949-1959): Roy Campanella ('51, '53, '55), Ernie Banks ('58, '59), Willie Mays ('54), Jackie Robinson ('49), Don Newcombe ('56) and Hank Aaron ('57).


11-21-1956
Don Newcombe is the first black pitcher to win the Cy Young Award and does so during the award's first year it's ever issued.

1956
Don Newcombe is the first black pitcher to lead either league in games won: National League 27.

1959
Ernie Banks is the first black player to win two consecutive Most Valuable Player Awards: 1958 & 1959.

4-17-1960

SAMMY DRAKE

SOLLY DRAKE
Sammy Drake of the Chicago Cubs plays his first major league game making the Drakes the first black brothers (Solly appeared with the Chicago Cubs on April 17, 1956) to play in the modern major leagues.

1962
Jackie Robinson is the first black player enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

5-29-1962
Buck O'Neil is the first black major league baseball coach: Chicago Cubs.

11-7-1963

ELSTON HOWARD
Elston Howard is the first black player to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award.


WILLIE MAYS

1964
Willie Mays is the first black player chosen to be a team (San Francisco Giants) captain.

3-17-1965
Jackie Robinson is the first black network broadcaster when ABC signs him to the baseball broadcast team.

4-11-1966
Emmett Ashford is the first black umpire in a major league game when Cleveland beats Washington 5-2.


FRANK ROBINSON
1966
Frank Robinson is only the 12th player in history - and the first black player - to win the Triple Crown.


WILLIE STARGELL

9-1-1971
The Pittsburgh Pirates field the first all-black starting lineup: Al Oliver 1b, Rennie Stennett 2b, Jackie Hernandez ss, Dave Cash 3b, Manny Sanguillen c, Dock Ellis p, Gene Clines lf, Roberto Clemente cf, and Willie Stargell rf.

4-8-1975
Frank Robinson manages his first game with the Indians and becomes the first black major league manager.

1977

BILL LUCAS
Bill Lucas of the Atlanta Braves is the first black major league general manager.

1992

CITO GASTON

Cito Gaston of the Toronto Blue Jays is the first African American manager to ever win a world championship (1992 World Series) and one year later became the first to win two consecutive world championships (1993 World Series).