Personality News

Hank Thompson (NBHOF Library)

Throughout Black History Month in February, the Hall of Fame celebrates the lives of African Americans who made historic contributions to the National Pastime.

Hank Thompson led a complex life made up of remarkable heights and depths. He was a decorated war veteran, integration trailblazer and World Series star.

Emmett Ashford became the first African-American to umpire in the big leagues in 1966. (NBHOF Library)

Throughout Black History Month in February, the Hall of Fame celebrates the lives of African Americans who made historic contributions to the National Pastime.

By Adrianna Mondore

Once Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in November of 1945, Emmett Ashford said to himself: "I'm going to be the first black umpire." Ashford then worked to make his prediction come true.

Vic Power won seven Gold Glove Awards at first base during the 1950s and 1960s. (NBHOF Library)

Throughout Black History Month in February, the Hall of Fame celebrates the lives of African Americans who made historic contributions to the National Pastime. 

The debate as to who the first black player to suit up for the fabled New York Yankees was newsworthy in the early 1950s. Jackie Robinson had broken the modern “color barrier” when he made his big league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, but the Bronx Bombers, a team in the midst of five straight World Series titles (1949-53), had not yet integrated its roster.

Don Newcombe was one of the aces of the Dodgers' staff in the late 1940s through the mid-1950s. (NBHOF Library)

Throughout Black History Month in February, the Hall of Fame celebrates the lives of African Americans who made historic contributions to the National Pastime.

For fifty-five years, he was in a class all his own. He was the first Major League player to earn all three of baseball's major awards – Rookie ofthe Year, Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award – all with one team – voted on by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Earning these achievements takes talent, and Don Newcombe had it.

Throughout Black History Month in February, the Hall of Fame celebrates the lives of African Americans who made historic contributions to the National Pastime.

By Max Miller 

Charlie Grant (NBHOF Library)

Throughout Black History Month in February, the Hall of Fame celebrates the lives of African Americans who made historic contributions to the National Pastime.

By Amanda Rodriguez

Long before Jackie Robinson was born, Charlie Grant had the opportunity to be a pioneer in 1901, when he attempted to secretly cross the unwritten color line of the major leagues. 

Pumpsie Green (NBHOF Library)

Throughout Black History Month in February, the Hall of Fame celebrates the lives of African Americans who made historic contributions to the National Pastime.

By Adrianna Mondore 

Bob Watson (NBHOF Library)

Throughout Black History Month in February, the Hall of Fame celebrates the lives of African Americans who made historic contributions to the National Pastime.

By Cassidy Lent 

Bob “Bull” Watson was a two-time National League All-Star at first base, but he may best be known for his work as a pioneering general manager. 

Willie Horton (NBHOF Library)

Throughout Black History Month in February, the Hall of Fame celebrates the lives of African Americans who made historic contributions to the National Pastime.

By Bruce Markusen

To the people of Detroit, Willie Horton is more than just a retired baseball star. He has achieved the status of a civil rights hero.

Throughout Black History Month in February, the Hall of Fame celebrates the lives of African Americans who made historic contributions to the National Pastime.

By Jackson Malnati

While skilled and athletic, Octavius Catto was plenty more than just a ballplayer. An excellent leader both on the field and off, his life’s work amounted to a resume of astounding proportions. By the time of his death in October 1871, Catto was recognized an educator, organizer, and activist.

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