Neo Gets a Kill: Baseball Player Elijah 'Pumpsie' Green @ 85
Elijah “Pumpsie” Green, the first black player in Boston Red Sox
history, died Wednesday near his home in northern California, the team said in a press release
. He was 85.
The switch-hitting infielder made history on July 21, 1959, when he entered Boston’s game against the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park as a pinch-runner in the eighth inning.
His presence marked the first time a black athlete had ever played for the Red Sox, making them the very last team in Major League Baseball to integrate, 12 years after Jackie Robinson
first played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.
Green went on to play 327 games over four seasons with the Red Sox before he was traded to the New York Mets in 1962. After playing 17 games for the Mets, Green retired, moving back to his native California and working as a high school baseball coach.
“Sometimes it was difficult, sometimes it was hard, sometimes it was impossible,” Green said last year in an interview with the Red Sox
. “But I stuck with it. [Pitcher Earl Wilson and I] said to ourselves, Ernie Banks, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, all those guys did it. We can do it.”
The People Magazine website's no longer letting me cut and paste more than one word at a time, so here's the link to the rest of the obit: https://people.com/sports/elijah-pumpsie-green-first-black-red-sox-player-dies/