Elijah “Pumpsie” Green—the first black player for the Boston Red Sox, the last major league team to field an African American—has died aged 85. Green made his debut in July 1959, over a dozen years after Jackie Robinson became the first black baseball player with the Brooklyn Dodgers. “Pumpsie Green occupies a special place in our history,” Red Sox owner John Henry said. “He was, by his own admission, a reluctant pioneer, but we will always remember him for his grace and perseverance in becoming our first African-American player. He paved the way for the many great Sox players of color who followed. For that, we all owe Pumpsie a debt of gratitude.” The team observed a moment of silence before its Wednesday night game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
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