Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Negro League baseball history fact for today

Photo of Curt Roberts

After bringing the first African-American ballplayers into Major League Baseball while President/GM for the Brooklyn Dodgers; Jackie Robinson and Don Bankhead in 1947, Roy Campanella in 1948 and Don Newcombe in 1949, Branch Rickey went on to become Vice-President/Board Chairman for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1950.  On October 22, 1953, Rickey signed the first African-American player for the Pittsburgh Pirates; Curt Roberts.  Born on August 16, 1929 in Pineland, Texas; Curtis Benjamin Roberts had played three years in Negro League baseball with the Kansas City Monarchs from 1947 – 1950. 
In Rickey’s desperate efforts to improve his team, the Pirates finished last four of the five years of his tenure, he did not give the 5’8” and 165 lbs. Roberts a season to get prepared in the minor leagues as was done for his African-American players on the Dodgers/. Instead, Roberts played 135 games at second base in his 1954 Major League rookie season and he hit .232.  Roberts was used as a utility infielder the next two seasons, playing in only 37 games.  He was sent back to the minor leagues after the 1956 season when Bill Mazeroski, elected to National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001, became the Pirate second baseman for the next 15 years.

No comments:

Post a Comment