42 (not 101010, the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything!)

Updated: April 18, 2013

Jackie Robinson breaking the MLB colour barrier

Toledo blue stockings

Moses Walker

Brooklyn, NY. (April 15th, 1947)— Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson became the first black player, in the modern era, to play professional baseball. Robinson was erroneously bestowed the moniker of the first black man to play professional baseball, this honour goes to Moses Walker of the Toledo Blue Stockings who played his first game on May 1st, 1884. Not only was he the first black man to play, he was later joined by his brother, Welday Walker, who played in six games with Toledo. In 1889, professional baseball imposed a ‘colour barrier’ that stood for 58 years until April 15th, 1947 when Jackie Robinson took the field for the first time.








The Movie, ’42’

Brooklyn Dodgers

Jackie Robinson

Being a proud Montrealer and aware of baseball’s history in our city, I awaited the release of ’42’ in the theatres with anticipation. I was fortunate enough to score tickets to the advanced screening(thanks Chris) for the movie. My expectations were quite high and was afraid that the film would not meet them. From the first flash of film to hit the screen to the last, I sat there in awe! 42 is an important movie, not only chronicling Jackie’s rise to baseball fame, but how he also helped shape future generations. As I watched with intense focus, waves of emotions from tears to laughter waved by. This is an important film that is a must see, not only for baseball fans, but for everyone. The one component the film did lack was the ‘Montreal element.’ The lack of Montreal content was the only disappointment. Robinson being chased by a mob of white people, not to lynch him, but rather to adore and be near him would have been a nice touch.

Go see the movie!




List of the first players to break the colour barrier.

Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers, NLApril 15, 1947
Larry Doby Cleveland Indians, ALJuly 5, 1947
Hank ThompsonSt. Louis Browns, ALJuly 17, 1947
Monte Irvin New York Giants, NLJuly 8, 1949
Hank ThompsonNew York Giants, NLJuly 8, 1949
Sam JethroeBoston Braves, NLApril 18, 1950
Minnie MiñosoChicago White Sox, ALMay 1, 1951
Bob TricePhiladelphia Athletics, ALSeptember 13, 1953
Ernie Banks Chicago Cubs, NLSeptember 17, 1953
Curt RobertsPittsburgh Pirates, NLApril 13, 1954
Tom AlstonSt. Louis Cardinals, NLApril 13, 1954
Nino EscaleraCincinnati Reds, NLApril 17, 1954
Chuck Harmon[2]Cincinnati Reds, NLApril 17, 1954
Carlos PaulaWashington Senators, ALSeptember 6, 1954
Elston HowardNew York Yankees, ALApril 14, 1955
John KennedyPhiladelphia Phillies, NLApril 22, 1957
Ozzie Virgil, Sr.Detroit Tigers, ALJune 6, 1958
Pumpsie GreenBoston Red Sox, ALJuly 21, 1959


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.