Afro Latinos Who Broke Color Barriers in Major League Baseball by Team

This past April 15th, baseball celebrated 66 years since the debut of the first African American to play in Major League Baseball  in the modern era, Jackie Robinson. While we honored the importance of this historical event, we began to think of the many Afro Latinos who played in the league, and that is when we stumbled upon what we think has been a forgotten but significant piece of U.S. sports history.

What we found was that 7 out of the 25  first Black (from any ethnicity) players in Major League Baseball by team were Afro Latinos. Amazing isn’t it? Who would have thought that Afro Latinos broke the color barrier in a U.S. sports league? To be honest, we never thought our people were part of such a great historical event in the U.S. but here we are eager to share with our followers this piece of hidden knowledge.

So without further ado,  here are the seven baseball players who helped change Major League Baseball as we know it.

Minnie Miñoso was born on November 29, 1925, in Havana, Cuba. He became the first Black player for the Chicago White Sox on May 1, 1951.Minnie_Miñoso_1953_Bowman

Nino Escalera was born May 17, 1932, in Monte Cristi, Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic. Escalera became the first Black player for the Cincinnati Reds on April 17, 1954.Nino

Carlos Paula was born on November 28, 1927, in Havana, Cuba. Paula was the first Black player for the Washington Senators on September 6th, 1954.Carlos Paula

Ozzie Virgil was born on May 17, 1932, in Monte Cristi, Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic. Virgil became the first Black player for the Detroit Tigers on June 6, 1958.1967 Ozzie Virgil (f)

Julio Becquer was born on December 20, 1931, in Havana, Cuba. Becquer became the first Black player for the Los Angeles Angels on April 11th, 1961.julio_becquer_autograph

Roman Mejias was born on August 9, 1930, in Abreus, Cuba. Mejias became the first Black player for the Houston Colt 45s on April 13th, 1962.roman_mejias_autograph

Felix Mantilla was born on July 29, 1934, in Isabela, Puerto Rico. mantilla became the first Black player for the New York Mets on April 13th 1962.felix_mantilla_autograph

Help us showcase more contributions of Latinos to the U.S.  by sharing  your knowledge with us. Let us take pride together in the certainty that the term aliens does not apply to us.

Black Famous Baseball Firsts

Pa’lante Latino showcases current events in the arts, entertainment, politics, and culture as it affects our community. Above all, we are ferocious advocates of the contributions that Hispanics/Latinos have made to the United States and feature articles based on historical facts to reaffirm our relevance.Please feel free to email us at


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