MINOSO,SLAUGHTER, AND INTEGRATING BASEBALL. Although Minoso was a little better player than Slaughter, the major difference between them was in their roles in the integration of baseball.

Slaughter, as this wikipedia entry says, was known “as one of the leaders of racial taunting against the first black major league player, Jackie Robinson, and he had injured Robinson during a game by inflicting a seven inch gash on Robinson’s leg.” The spiking was shown in 42, the recent movie about Jackie Robinson. This article about the history behind the movie says that Slaughter in later years gave the unappealing defense that he had spiked a lot of players intentionally.

Minoso was a pioneer. After Jackie Robinson broke the color line in April 1947, the integration of baseball took a long time. This post on the SBNation website by Steven Goldman shows the dates each of the 16 major league teams played their first black player. It took 12 years—until 1959—for the last team to play its first black player. When Minoso broke into the majors in 1951, it made the White Sox only the sixth team to have a black player. In addition, as Goldman says: “Minoso was the first black Latino to break the color line.”

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