Sixty years ago, 1953, eight former Negro League players made their Major League Baseball debut. Only in 1951 did as many players from Negro League baseball go through the door into the big leagues Jackie Robinson had broken down six years (1947) previously. Gene Baker, Ernie Banks, Jim “Junior” Gilliam, Dave Hoskins, Connie Johnson, Jim Pendleton, Al Smith, and Bob Trice all were former Negro League players who were Major League rookies in 1953. Banks went on to have a nineteen year Hall of Fame career with the Chicago Cubs. Gilliam was named 1953 National League “Rookie of the Year” and went on to have a fourteen year playing career with the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, winning four World Championships.