Who was first? Moses Fleetwood Walker
Before there was Jackie Robinson, there was Fleet Walker. On this date in 1884, Moses Fleetwood Walker became the first African-American to play Major League Baseball when he made his American Association (modern-day American League) with the Toledo Blue Stockings. His debut came 63 years before Robinson is credited for breaking the color barrier in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Wondering why you haven't heard of Walker? Well, the catcher sustained a season-ending injury in July of 1884 and then spent the rest of his career in the minors. Walker may not be remembered, but today he's not forgotten.
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