The Tenth Inning
 The Tenth Inning Blog
Periodically, I will post new entries about current baseball topics.  The posts will typically be a mixture of commentary, history, facts, and stats.  Hopefully, they will provoke some  of your thoughts or emotions. Clicking on the word "Comments" associated with each post below will open a new dialog box to enter or retrieve any feedback.
Black History Month: The story of major-league baseball's integration omitted New Orleans native Johnny Wright

Everyone knows Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in major-league baseball in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. What everyone doesn’t know is that New Orleans native Johnny Wright, a Negro League star pitcher in the late 1930s and 1940s, was slated by the Dodgers to join Robinson in the historic integration of baseball.


Wright was signed by the Dodgers shortly after Robinson, and both spent spring training in Daytona in 1946 as the first two African-American players in Organized Baseball. They started the regular season with the Dodgers’ highest-level minor-league affiliate in Montreal. But Wright was used sparingly and eventually sent to the Dodgers’ Class C team in Canada. When Robinson joined the big-league Dodgers in 1947, Wright returned to the Negro Leagues.

Carlis Wright Robinson, daughter of Johnny Wright, has been energetically telling the account of her father’s involvement in the integration of baseball. With the help of baseball historians, Ms. Robinson has articulated her father’s story with the Dodgers and chronicled his entire life and baseball career which took him all over the United States, as well as Latin American countries, in her book The Wright Side of the Story: The Life and Career of Johnny Wright, Co-Pioneer in Breaking Baseball’s Color Barrier, as Told by His Daughter.”

Ms. Robinson recently remarked about her efforts, “My journey has been a labor of love, driven by the lack of information and lack of recognition for my late father’s accomplishments in the world of baseball. First, I hope that I have reconciled some of the incomplete and incorrect writings that I have found over the years during my research of his career. And secondly, I believe that I have written the most complete compilation of his life and career currently available.”

She added, “It would be great to see him inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. And why isn’t there a historical marker in his hometown? To be continued.”

Johnny Wright was inducted into the 2022 Class of the New Orleans Sports Foundation’s Hall of Fame, sponsored by the All-State Sugar Bowl.

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