Thursday, June 20, 2024

Latest

Related Posts

The Truth About Elston Howard: First Black Player to Win the American League MVP Award

Affiliate Disclosure: Some links on Spotcovery.com are affiliate links. If you click and purchase through these links, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. We only recommend products and services we believe will provide value to our readers. Thank you for your support!
spot_img

After Jackie Robinson and Larry Dobby opened the doors for black people in professional baseball, Elston Howard carried on the success. He became a significant figure in professional baseball and was the first to scoop an American League Most Valuable Player award. 

Howard’s decision to turn down major offers from colleges worked in his favor as he had a successful career. Read all about it here. 

Become an insider.  Subscribe to our newsletter for more top trending stories like this!

People Also Read: Black Players: 9 Memorable Afro-Brazilian Footballers

Baseballs can be found on Amazon.

Elston Howard’s Beginnings

spotcovery-The Truth About Elston Howard: First Black Player to Win the American League MVP Award
Elston Howard holding a baseball. Source: Wikimedia licensed by  CC-BY-3.0

Howard played multiple sports in school – baseball, basketball, soccer and track & field. He was good that he received multiple scholarships from prestigious universities, but turned them down in favor of playing in the American Negro League for the Kansas City Monarchs. His manager was Buck O’Neil and shared the locker room with Ernie Banks. 

He preferred the team because, at the time, Major League Baseball (MLB) was deeply segregated. Many teams didn’t want to allow black players to play. However, the Yankees broke the color barrier by buying off his contract. He was placed in the Yankees farm team, but he left for military service.

He returned in 1953 and played for the Kansas City Blues in minor league baseball. He became a catcher for the team and went on and registered impressive numbers.   

People Also Read: Who Are the Black Players Who Played Cricket for England?

Entry to MLB

Review of Elston Howard. Video Credit: KSDK News

In 1955, he started for the Yankees against the Boston Red Sox and was its first black player. However, he had stiff competition in his position as a catcher. That said, Howard was versatile and thus got playing time as an outfielder. 

The player faced racial abuse from his manager, who referred to him as an ‘eight ball’ and stereotyped black people for their inability to run. Opposing fans and players also displayed racial hate, but Elston Howard never stooped to their level. He stayed calm and focused on his game.

People Also Read: Are There Any Black Players In The MLS?

Baseball caps are fashionable. Check them on Amazon.

World Series Games

Elston Howard’s time at the Yankees. Video Credit: Yankee Classics

Elston Howard featured in several World Series games. In his first in 1955, during which he played 97 games, the team lost to the Brooklyn Dodgers

The following year, he appeared 98 times for the team, and they won the World Series title. Although he only played in game seven in the series, he was influential, having hit a homer, only one of four in his team that made sure the team won the title. 

Become an insider.  Subscribe to our newsletter for more top trending stories like this!

Howard played more games in 1957, 110. The Yankees reached the World Series title but lost to the Milwaukee Braves. In 1958, they were in the final again and Howard made the difference. For his contributions, he was given the Babe Ruth Award. 

Although his numbers dropped in the lead-up to the 1961 World Series title victory, Howard remained a key figure in the side. The season after that, Howard won his fourth world title. 

For his performances, Elston Howard won the American League Most Valuable Player of the Year award, the first African American to win the accolade. 

Join our Spotcovery Global Black Community Facebook Group for early access to exclusive content and to share in a lively discussion.

Leaving and Returning to the Yankees

After the 1967 season, Howard left the Yankees. He joined the Boston Red Sox but didn’t manage to win the league with them. 

After a season, he went back to the Yankees and worked as a coach and made more history as the first African American coach in the league’s history. He got his first and only World Series title as the coach that year. 

Jackie Robinson would have been proud of Elston Howard. Despite a harsh environment, he further rubber-stamped that black players could be successful in sports. He proved his doubters wrong and eventually received the highest titles in the game.  

People Also Read: Shining Stars: Leading Black Actors Making Waves Worldwide

A baseball jersey is an amazing accessory for your wardrobe. Get in on Amazon.

Nearly 80% of consumers visit directories with reviews to find a local business. List your business for free in our exclusive Spotcovery Black-Owned Business Directory.

Spotcovery offers unique and fresh daily content on Black culture, lifestyle, and experiences. We talk about everything black, black people, black-owned and black-owned businesses. We also deliver authentic and relevant content that will inform, inspire, and empower you! The future of black media is critical to today’s black experience! Our primary audience includes African Americans, Africans, Afro-Caribbean, and people of African heritage. Black culture is for the culture!

Become an insider.  Subscribe to our newsletter for more top trending stories like this!

Affiliate Disclosure: Some links on Spotcovery.com are affiliate links. If you click and purchase through these links, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. We only recommend products and services we believe will provide value to our readers. Thank you for your support!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
Captcha verification failed!
CAPTCHA user score failed. Please contact us!

Popular Articles