Everyone knows about Jackie Robinson breaking the MLB color barrier in April 1947, but do they know the strong St. Louis roots? Long before the Jackie’s signing with the Dodgers, St. Louis had a strong presence in the Negro Leagues having one of the few stadiums built just for that team. People may know about Cool Papa Bell and have heard of the St. Louis Stars, but how many world championships did they win? Who are the other standout players from the team that are in Cooperstown’s Hall of Fame? More importantly, what was life like for these men playing in American society in the Negro Leagues? And how
was the transition for those who made it to MLB? And who were Hank Thompson and Willard Brown? Why are they special? Here is a hint. They played for the St. Louis
Browns and were the third and fourth men to cross the color line and the first two African-American players to play on the field in a MLB game together. This was not
the only first, but one of many they accomplished in MLB history thanks to the St. Louis Browns who were leaders in the integration of baseball. It is time people learn and
remember this piece of baseball and social history.