Sam Jethroe: The Forgotten Baseball Player

Sam Jethroe was a Negro League Baseball player who is often forgotten despite his many accomplishments. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at his life and career, and try to understand why he’s not more well-known today.

Who was Sam Jethroe?

Sam Jethroe was a professional baseball player who is perhaps best known for being the first African American to play for the Boston Braves. Jethroe was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1915 and played minor league baseball for several years before being called up to the majors in 1950. He played three seasons with the Braves before being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1953. Jethroe’s career ended in 1955, but he continued to be involved in baseball as a coach and scout until his death in 2001.

Why was he forgotten?

Sam Jethroe was an incredible baseball player who should be remembered for his contributions to the game. Unfortunately, he has been largely forgotten by history. Why was he forgotten?

There are a few possible reasons. First, Jethroe played the majority of his career in the Negro Leagues, which were not as well-documented as Major League Baseball Second, Jethroe’s career spanned a time when baseball was segregated, so his accomplishments may have been downplayed or outright ignored by the mainstream media.

Whatever the reasons for his forgetfulness, it’s important to remember Sam Jethroe and what he did for the Game of Baseball He was a true pioneer and helped pave the way for other Great players of color.

Jethroe’s career before the MLB

Jethroe’s career began in the Negro Leagues in 1938. He played for the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Cleveland Buckeyes, among other teams. In his 10 seasons in the Negro Leagues, Jethroe batted .321 and stole 362 bases. He was a three-time All-Star and helped the Buckeyes win the Negro World Series in 1945.

Jethroe’s talents earned him a spot in the Major Leagues when baseball’s color barrier was finally broken in 1947. He became one of the first African American players in MLB history when he joined the Boston Braves. Jethroe played for the Braves for two seasons before being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates He spent his final season in MLB with the Cleveland Indians in 1949.

In total, Jethroe played parts of three seasons in MLB. He batted .273 with 28 stolen bases in his career. Although his time in MLB was relatively short, Jethroe made history as one of the first African American players in league history.

Jethroe’s time with the Boston Braves

Jethroe made his Major League debut with the Boston Braves in 1942, just a few weeks before his 27th birthday. Jethroe became an everyday player for the Braves in 1944 and helped the team win the National League pennant that year. He was one of the Braves’ best players in 1945, hitting .273 with 16 home runs and 21 stolen bases, but he struggled offensively in 1946 and 1947.

In 1948, Jethroe was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates He had a monster season for the Pirates, hitting .316 with 24 home runs and 30 stolen bases. Jethroe was traded back to the Braves in 1950 and had another solid season, hitting .283 with 13 home runs and 27 stolen bases.

Jethroe’s career began to wind down after that, as he was traded to the Cleveland Indians in 1951 and only played in a handful of games for them over the next two seasons. He retired from baseball in 1953 at the age of 36.

Jethroe’s time with the Cleveland Indians

From 1942 to 1949, Jethroe was one of the Negro Leagues’ most prolific hitters, batting over .300 nine times. He won three batting championships and three home run titles. In 1949, he hit .346 with 24 Home Runs and 103 RBIs for the Boston Braves’ top farm team. That earned him a call-up to the majors, where he became the first African-American player in Boston Braves history.

Jethroe struggled in his first taste of Major League Baseball hitting just .161 in 51 games. He did fare better the following year, hitting .273 with 13 home runs and 34 RBIs in 102 games. After the season, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for two players and cash.

Jethroe never got comfortable in his time with Pittsburgh, hitting just .232 in two seasons before being sold to the Cleveland Indians in 1952. He had his best season in Cleveland, hitting .273 with 16 home runs and 66 RBIs in 134 games. However, his stay with the team was short-lived as he was traded to the St. Louis Browns midway through the 1953 season.

Jethroe’s later years

Jethroe continued to play baseball into his fifties, though he never made it back to the majors. He spent his later years living in a trailer park in Colorado, and died of a heart attack in 2001.

Jethroe’s legacy

Though he was an excellent player, Jethroe’s legacy is largely forgotten.

In popular culture

Jethroe was portrayed in the 1977 miniseriesSadat by actor Carl Lumbly.

Jethroe is one of the main characters, played by Andre Braugher, in the 1999 film Cobb, which is based on the life ofTy Cobb.

See also

See also
–African American Baseball players
-Boston Braves
-Cleveland Indians
– Negro League baseball
– National League Rookie of the Year Award

References

In this section, you will find a list of articles, books, and websites that were used in the research for this exhibit.

-Aircraft History by Gerry Honeyford
-Article about Jethroe in Negro League baseball players Association Journal
–baseball stats from http://www.baseball-reference.com
-Biography of Jethroe from SABR website
-Jethroe’s page at the Baseball Hall of Fame website
-Negro League baseball players Association website

Keyword: Sam Jethroe: The Forgotten Baseball Player

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