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Fri, 10.27.1933

Pumpsie Green born

Pumpsie Green

*Pumpsie Green was born on this date in 1933.  He was a Black Major League Baseball player.  

Elijah Jerry "Pumpsie" Green was born in Boley, Oklahoma, the eldest of five children.  Because the family moved, he grew up in Richmond, California.  Green was named Elijah, after his father, but his mother called him "Pumpsie" from an early age.  

He was a three-sport athlete at El Cerrito High School.  Since major-league baseball had not yet expanded to the West Coast, Green grew up a fan of the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League. Green later stated that he may have been even better at basketball but chose to play baseball when he was offered a baseball scholarship at Fresno State University. However, Green decided to attend Contra Costa College when Gene Corr, his high school baseball coach, became the baseball coach there and promised Green he would play shortstop if he attended.  In Green's final year of college, he tried out for the Oaks, and was signed to a contract.  

Green is known for being the first Black player to play for the Red Sox, the last pre-expansion major-league club to integrate. Green made his debut on July 21, 1959, pinch-running in a 2–1 loss against the Chicago White Sox.  In his Boston tenure, he was used mostly as a pinch runner or day-off replacement for infielders Pete Runnels and Don Buddin.  As a (MLB) infielder, he played with the Boston Red Sox (1959–62) and New York Mets (1963). He was a switch-hitter who threw right-handed.   

Following his retirement from playing baseball, Green worked at Berkeley High School in Berkeley, California for over 20 years, serving as a truant officer, coaching baseball and teaching math in summer school.  Green lived in El Cerrito, California, for seven years after his retirement from baseball. 

On April 17, 2009, Green was honored by the Red Sox in a first-pitch ceremony, in recognition of 50 years since his breaking of the Red Sox color barrier.  In February 2012, Green was honored by the city of El Cerrito, and presented with a proclamation honoring his "distinguished stature in baseball history."  In April 2012, he threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Jackie Robinson day at Fenway Park, and also attended Fenway's 100th anniversary celebrations later that month.  In May 2018, Green was inducted to the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame. Green He was married to his wife Marie for over 50 years and had one brother, Cornell Green, was a long-time safety for the Dallas Cowboys. Another brother, Credell Green, played football at the University of Washington and was once drafted by the Green Bay Packers.  On July 17, 2019, Pumpsie Green died at the age of 85.

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