Changing History #42

By guest blogger Jeff Robinson

with contributions by Gary Armbruster

The Mets had a wonderful opening day ceremony today honoring Jackie Robinson who made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers 75 years ago. It reminds me of the great song by Garland Jeffreys, “Color Line” which was very appropriate for today’s celebration in Queens. The song is from Jeffreys’ 1991 album, Don’t Call Me Buckwheat. Check out the YouTube link below. It shows the album cover which has Jeffreys as a young kid in front of what appears to be Ebbets Field. Garland Jeffreys is now retired. I last saw him in a sold-out concert about seven years ago at Rahway’s Hamilton Stage and he was still rockin’ and rollin’.

The Dodgers were the first major league team to sign a black player. The Boston Red Sox were the last. Elijah “Pumpsie” Green made his debut with Boston on July 1, 1959. He was the brother of Cornell Green who starred with the Dallas Cowboys playing 13 years as a defensive back and appearing in two Super Bowls.

Jackie Robinson had a Hall of Fame career with a lifetime batting average of .313. He was a seven-time All Star, Rookie of the Year in 1947, and the National League MVP and NL Batting Title winner in 1949. He appeared in six World Series with the Dodgers including their World Championship in 1955. Pumpsie Green played four years with the Boston and finished his career in 1963 with the New York Mets.

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