I first saw this card in a bargain box at a local card shop, and the first thing that got my attention was Green's first name.
And so I bought the card, it was 50 cents –no rapper jokes please.
But it was when I got home and punched his name into Wikipedia that I really felt stupid. I pride myself on knowing about niche ballplayers like Harvey Haddix or Joe Nuxhall or Hal Chase or Fred Merkle. Why had I not ever heard of Pumpsie Green?
On July 21, 1959, Green became the first black player for the Boston Red Sox. By doing so he also became the last player to integrate a Major League team. I guess what shocks me most is that it took the Red Sox more than 12 years after Jackie Robinson made his debut in 1947 to add a player of color to their roster.
Green never had an All-Star career and his name will never be as recognizable as Jackie Robinson or Larry Doby, but he should be known for more than his unique first name.