Black History and American College Basketball 🏀, a story
*With March Madness beginning, on this date we remember African Americans in the history of American college basketball.
Joe Bartholomew, Golfer, and Golf Course Designer born
Joseph M. Bartholomew was born on this date in 1885. He was an African American golfer who specialized in designing golf courses.
Joe Bartholomew was born in New Orleans, and was a seven-year-old caddie at nearby Audubon Golf Course. Bartholomew copied the swings of the golfers for whom he caddied, taught himself the game’s touch, and quickly became skilled enough to instruct others. He became such a good player–he once shot 62 at Audubon–that club members backed him in arranged matches.
First NFL Playoff Game With Two Black Head Coaches Played
On this date in 2003, two black head coaches competed for the first time in a National Football league (NFL) playoff game.
The Indianapolis Colts’ Tony Dungy and the New York Jets’ Herman Edwards brought their teams to New York where the Jets won 41 to 0. Longtime friends, Dungy and Edwards were the only African American head coaches in the league. Edwards spent five seasons as Dungy’s top assistant in Tampa before becoming New York’s coach in 2001.
The student came out on top of the mentor because his offense was unstoppable, his defense stingy, and his special teams dominant.
American Professional Golf Integrates
*On this date in 1961, the Professional Golfers Tour (PGA) Tour lifted its whites-only clause.
However, the first Black golfer to play a PGA Tour event was Bill Spiller at the 1948 Los Angeles Open. The first black golfer to win a PGA Tour event Pete Brown won the Waco Open in 1964. Charlie Sifford was the first full-time black PGA Tour member after the whites-only clause was lifted. He became the first Black tour member to win at the Greater Hartford Open in 1967 and captured a second victory at the Los Angeles Open in 1969.
Bessie Coleman, Aviator born
*Bessie Coleman was born on this date in 1892. She was an African American woman pilot and the first woman aviator and stunt-flier in the United States.
Fritz Pollard, Football Player, and Coach born
*Fritz Pollard was born on this date in 1894. He was the first African American coach in the National Football League.
Frederick Douglas “Fritz” Pollard grew up in Chicago. By the time he graduated from high school, he was a talented baseball player, running back and a three-time Cook County track champion. He briefly played football for Northwestern, Harvard and Dartmouth before receiving a scholarship from the Rockefeller family to attend Brown University in 1915.
Jackie Robinson, Baseball Player born
*Jackie Robinson was born on this date in 1919. He was an African American athlete, business executive, and civil rights leader.
Born to a family of sharecroppers in Cairo, Georgia, Jack Roosevelt Robinson attended Pasadena Junior College and UCLA. In 1941 Robinson left college to join the United States Army and he received an honorable discharge in 1944 with the rank of first lieutenant. The following year, Robinson began his professional baseball career with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues.
The Negro Baseball League is Founded
*This date marks the anniversary of the Negro Baseball League. In 1886, the Southern League of Colored Base Ballists became the first Negro league.
‘Cool Papa’ Bell, Baseball Player born
On this date in 1903, James “Cool Papa” Bell was born in Starksville, Mississippi. He was an African American baseball player, considered by many as the fastest player in the sport.
Braves Baseball Team Integrates
On this date in 1950, the (then) Boston Braves baseball team integrated. Famed Cleveland Buckeyes star Sam Jethroe became their first Black player He had a stellar season and was named National League Rookie of the Year.
One of the most highly-touted prospects of all time, Jethroe led the majors in stolen bases his first two years, but never quite lived up to the high expectations. Over his three-year career, he batted.261 with 460 hits and 49 home runs.
20th Century Baseball Chronicle
Year-By-Year History of major league Baseball