Legendary Boston Red Sox infielder Elijah ‘Pumpsie’ Green passed away Wednesday at the age of 85.
Green played four years with the Red Sox, and one with the New York Mets before retiring in 1963. Green is best known for being the first African American to play for the Red Sox, who were the last MLB team to integrate in the late 1950’s. (RELATED: Boston Red Sox Hold Moment Of Prayer And Reflection For David Ortiz After He Was Shot In The Dominican Republic)
Immediately after news of Green’s passing circulated, tributes began to pour in on social media.
— Red Sox (@RedSox) July 18, 2019
The Red Sox were the last team in the major leagues to field a black player, when “Pumpsie” Green stepped on the field as a pinch-runner against the Chicago White Sox on July 21, 1959. https://t.co/2JnUcI4Umd pic.twitter.com/wr2xpEdODD
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) July 17, 2019
— Baseball Hall ⚾ (@baseballhall) July 18, 2019
“Pumpsie Green occupies a special place in our history,” Red Sox owner John Henry said in a statement. “He paved the way for the many great Sox players of color who followed. For that, we all owe Pumpsie a debt of gratitude.”
Pumpsie Green was a trailblazer who played a critical role in the history of the sport. May he rest in peace.