1958 : Ozzie Virgil, the Detroit Tiger’s First Player of Color Takes the Field

June 6, 2018 all-day

On June 6, 1958, the Detroit Tigers’ first nonwhite player debuted. Eleven years after Jackie Robinson made his historic entrance into modern baseball, the Detroit Tigers played a black man. Escaping the distinction of being the last major league team to integrate (Boston was last), the Tigers acquired Ozzie Virgil, a 25-year-old third baseman from the Dominican Republic. Virgil played his first game for the Tigers in Washington, DC. In his first home game, on June 17, he went 5 for 5 in another victory. Virgil spent nine years in the majors. After his playing days were over, he coached for several professional teams.

Source: Michigan History magazine

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