This Day in Black History: April 14, 1955

Elston Howard

This Day in Black History: April 14, 1955

Elston Howard became the first Black man to play for the New York Yankees baseball team on April 14, 1955.

Published April 14, 2014

Elston Howard joined the New York Yankees on April 14, 1955, and made history as the first African-American "Bronx Bomber." Howard broke through the color barrier a decade after Jackie Robinson accomplished a similar feat by joining the Brooklyn Dodgers across town. 

Before joining the major leagues, Howard signed to the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro American League at the age of 19. Two years later, he was signed by the Yankees and was assigned to their minor league team. He was brought onto the Yankees in 1955. 

Howard also became the first African-American player to be named the American League's Most Valuable Player. He played with New York until 1967 when he went to the Boston Red Sox.

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(Photo: Arnie Lee via WikiCommons)

Written by Natelege Whaley


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