Born on January 9, 1931 in Mobile, Alabama, Frank “Lefty” Marsh came to Negro League baseball after being one of the first African American players signed by the St. Louis Cardinals. After playing college baseball at Grambling State under the legendary Ralph W. E. Jones, Marsh was signed by the Cardinals in 1953.
The next season Marsh was on the Cardinals’ rookie league team in Johnson City, Tennessee playing outfield and first base. He was one of the first African Americans to play in the Appalachian League. Although he hit .289, the Cardinals released him after the season.
Marsh then played Negro League baseball during the last years it functioned. From 1955 – 1961 he was first with the Birmingham Black Barons and then the Kansas City Monarchs and Detroit Stars.
Who was the first African American to play in the Major Leagues for the St. Louis Cardinals?