While Jackie Robinson was planning with the minor league Montreal Royals preparing to become the first African American in the 20th Century to play Major League baseball, Eddie Klepp became the first white player in the Negro Leagues. Klepp. a left handed pitcher, was signed by the Cleveland Buckeyes in 1946 off the sandlots of his hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania where he played semi-professional baseball with African Americans players. During spring training games in southern cities, Klepp was not allowed to play with his black teammates due to Jim Crow segregation laws. However, his Negro American League debut was on May 29, 1946 against the Chicago American Giants in Grand Rapids, Michigan giving up one run in a relief appearance. Klepp was released after his next outing when he gave up the leading runs against the Indianapolis Clowns. Years later, former Buckeye Manager Quincy Trouppe said Klepp was released because he did not have the pitching skills to get hitters out consistently.