From Rhiannon Walker at The Undefeated on April 13, 2018:
Jackie Robinson went to the grave with his final request of Major League Baseball unfulfilled. The Los Angeles Dodgers legend died discouraged and frustrated with big league teams because of the way they dragged their feet on hiring black managers and front-office employees.
Some opined that black managers hadn’t been hired in the 25 years since Robinson integrated baseball because white players weren’t ready to take orders from a black man and white fans would be exceptionally cruel to them. Others speculated that the crop of black players who would eventually be hired as skippers were learning the ropes as coaches and working the minor leagues.
That, of course, is a puzzling explanation, considering Buck O’Neil broke the color barrier for black coaches in 1962 with the Chicago Cubs and in the 10 years after O’Neil did so, nine black men — Gene Baker (Pittsburgh Pirates), Jim Gilliam (Dodgers), Ernie Banks (Cubs), Larry Doby (Montreal Expos), Elston Howard (New York Yankees), Satchel Paige (Atlanta Braves), Luke Easter (Cleveland), Ozzie Virgil (San Francisco Giants) and John Roseboro (Washington Senators, California Angels) — had risen to the coaching ranks by the time Robinson used his silver anniversary to call out MLB on its biggest stage.
Read the full article here: https://theundefeated.com/features/jackie-robinson-last-stand-to-see-blacks-break-into-the-mlb-managerial-ranks/
- Related link: Read “April 8, 1975: Frank Robinson debuts as first black manager in major leagues,” by Joseph Wancho at the SABR Games Project
Originally published: April 16, 2018. Last Updated: April 16, 2018.