OTD: John Kennedy Arrives

Apr 22, 2020 | On this Day | 0 comments

Most Used Tags

Phillies (95)White Sox (40)Dodgers (21)Pirates (18)Cardinals (15)Legacy Card Project (13)Hall of Fame (13)Athletics (12)Mike Schmidt (12)Friends (12)Wallpaper Wednesday (10)Cubs (10)Roberto Clemente (8)Willie Mays (7)Tony Taylor (7)Braves (7)Astros (7)Family (6)Ernie Banks (6)Teammates (6)Ed Herrmann (6)Giants (6)World Series (6)Yankees (5)Reds (5)Hank Aaron (5)Jim Bunning (5)Charlie Manuel (5)Wampum (5)Willie Stargell (5)Larry Bowa (4)JR Richard (4)Jackie Robinson (4)All Star Game (4)Greg Luzinski (4)Fun stuff (4)Angels (4)Goose Gossage (3)NLBM (3)Topps (3)Twins (3)Garry Maddox (3)Hank Allen (3)Mets (3)Lou Brock (3)HallofGame (3)Ryan Howard (3)Dave Cash (2)Steve Carlton (2)Brewers (2)Tony Perez (2)Robin Roberts (2)Jay Johnstone (2)Fergie Jenkins (2)Chase Utley (2)Bob Gibson (2)Eddie Murray (2)Roy Halladay (2)Spring Training (2)Negro League (2)website (2)Indians (2)Ryne Sandberg (2)Horse Racing (2)Dallas Green (2)Lyman Bostock (2)Bill Buckner (2)Larry Hisle (2)Comiskey Park (2)Jim Bibby (1)Rangers (1)Dave Parker (1)Larry Shenk (1)Cards (1)Nationals (1)Newark Eagles (1)Johnny Callison (1)Cookie Rojas (1)Rookie of the Year (1)Pete Rose (1)Carlos May (1)Bill Melton (1)Jimmy Rollins (1)Sadaharu Oh (1)Connie Mack Stadium (1)Larry Doby (1)Satchel Paige (1)Reggie Jackson (1)Joe Torre (1)Babe Ruth (1)Blue Jays (1)helmets (1)Manny Sanguillen (1)Pat Corrales (1)JT Realmuto (1)Carlton Fisk (1)Dock Ellis (1)Keith Moreland (1)Thurman Munson (1)Jerry Reuss (1)Tony Armas (1)George Scott (1)Steve Stone (1)Rod Carew (1)Tom Seaver (1)Fun (1)Little League (1)Jackie Robinson West (1)Joe Morgan (1)Chris Short (1)NLDS (1)Sparky Lyle (1)Pat Burrell (1)Jimmy Wynn (1)Willie Montanez (1)Vida Blue (1)Richie Ashburn (1)Andrew McCutchen (1)Rick Wise (1)Jim Rooker (1)Von Hayes (1)Steve Jeltz (1)Bob Watson (1)John Herrnstein (1)Bart Johnson (1)Tommy Hutton (1)Jim Lonborg (1)Frank Robinson (1)Al Kaline (1)Tigers (1)Sandy Koufax (1)Don Drysdale (1)Don Sutton (1)John Kennedy (1)John Olerud (1)Wilbur Wood (1)Jim Kaat (1)Minors (1)Jose Abreu (1)Bob Kendrick (1)Ozzie Smith (1)Kenny Lofton (1)Interviews (1)Coy Allen (1)Tony Gwynn (1)Padres (1)Williamsport (1)Ron Allen (1)Dennis Eckersley (1)Kirk Gibson (1)Red Sox (1)Shea Stadium (1)Tug McGraw (1)Harry Caray (1)Saratoga (1)Johnny Velazquez (1)Harry Kalas (1)Ed Spiezio (1)Richie Zisk (1)Matt Stairs (1)Roland Hemond (1)Harold Baines (1)Wes Covington (1)Bob Uecker (1)Todd Radom (1)Rhys Hoskins (1)Jorge Orta (1)Ron Guidry (1)Monte Irvin (1)Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame (1)Royals (1)basketball (1)Wilt Chamberlain (1)video (1)Johnny Oates (1)Opening Day (1)Manny Mota (1)2008 NLCS (1)Johnny Briggs (1)VOTE (1)
Show More Show Less

On this day in 1957 John Kennedy becomes the first African American to play for the Phillies. Philadelphia was last National League franchise to integrate, waiting exactly 10 years and 7 days after Jackie Robinson first broke the major league color barrier for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Kennedy entered the game (played in Newark, New Jersey) in the top of the 8th inning as a pinch runner for Solly Hemus, who had doubled. Kennedy did not score. The Dodgers won the game 5-1.

Solly Hemus, the man Kennedy replaced, was later the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals who infamously told Bob Gibson and Curt Flood they weren’t good enough to make it as Major Leaguers and “should try something else”.

A baseball nomad and Negro League veteran, Kennedy was an infielder for the Birmingham Black Barons in 1954 & 1955 where he was a teammate of the famous country music singer, Charley Pride. In 1956, he was with the Kansas City Monarchs and led the team with a .356 average, second-best in the Negro American League.

In 1957, Kennedy makes the the Phillies roster out of spring training, appeared in 5 games in April & May, but only got two major league ABs. When the Carolina League season launched in May, the Phillies sent Kennedy to their minor league (Class B) affiliate High Point, North Carolina, where he played with a 22 year right handed pitcher named Dallas Green.

Kennedy continued to play the game after leaving professional baseball in 1961, participating in an over-30 league in the late 1990s at the age of 70. John Kennedy died in April 27th, 1998 and is buried in his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida.

Dick Allen on Twitter

Dick Allen Pinterest