Historic Moments fromThe Amistad Center's Collection

Baseball

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1955

Elston Howard (1929-1980)

 

Elson Howard was the first African-American player on the Yankees' roster in 1955, eight years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball. After finishing third in the league in slugging average and fifth in home runs, Howard was awarded the American League's Most Valuable Player for the 1963 pennant winners, being the first Black player to do so.

 

Howard played catcher, left fielder, and coach on the field. From 1948 through 1968, he played in the Negro leagues and Major League Baseball, principally with the New York Yankees.