Totti: The case for Carlos Bernier, baseball’s historic omission

From Xavier F. Totti at Centro Voices on February 23, 2016, with mention of SABR member J.G. Preston:

Carlos Bernier ended the Pittsburgh Pirates’ era of racial segregation when he joined the team for the 1953 season. Bernier didn’t have a consistent year with the Pirates, and though he became a minor league superstar, he would never get another opportunity to play in the ‘big leagues.’ Unfortunately, neither the Pirates nor Major League Baseball (MLB) officially recognize him as the player who broke the team’s ‘color line.’

In the early 1950s most followers of ‘colored’ players recognized the fact that Bernier was both black and Puerto Rican. For example, a large cartoon published in the Indiana Gazette (Indiana, PA) on 6 April 1953 (p. 27), announcing the arrival of the ‘speedster’ Carlos Bernier to the Pirates, clearly depicts him as a ‘colored’ person. A look at any photograph of Bernier clearly shows that he was an Afro-Puerto Rican—a fact confirmed by his son, Néstor Collazo-Bernier, in an interview we had this past January.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: February 26, 2016. Last Updated: February 26, 2016.