This Date In Baseball History- November 30, 1952. The great Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers on a local television program in New York called out New York Yankee management as being racist. Robinson had broken into the majors in 1947- a full five years had passed and the Yankees still hadn’t had a black player. General Manager George Weiss of the Yankees of course denied the allegations but come on- it was true. It wouldn’t be until 1955 that Elston Howard would become the first black player on the Yankees- eight years after Jackie Robinson broke in. This slowness to integrate would eventually catch up with the Yankees- a big reason why their dynasty came to an end in the mid-60’s.
According to the book Yogi Berra: Eternal Yankee, Weiss at a cocktail party stated loudly that “he would never allow a black man to wear a Yankee uniform.” The Yankees farm system had in place a policy preventing black players from reaching the major league club, according to the book. Howard, the first African- American Yankee, was switched from an outfielder to a catcher, the position at which it would be least likely to break into the major league club, given Berra’s presence.
Yea….that many years afterward plus so many great black ballplayers out there waiting. What they didn’t get is they were hurting themselves.
The team that hurt themselves the most- the Red Sox- run by the racist owner Tom Yawkey. It wasn’t until 1959 they finally had a black player. Incredible.
I was going to mention the Red Sox…they had a chance at signing Robinson and Mays from what I read…how stupid. They could have been in the mix in the 50s if they would have had common sense.
imagine those two with Ted still there… a lot of teams really blew it in that era for being so backwards… the Dodgers were on the ball.
I think John McGraw I would’ve done it if he could have… But with that commissioner there was no way it was gonna happen.