Jackie Robinson is celebrated every year for a major first: the first African-American player in major league baseball.
But other black players were breaking into pro baseball around the same time, just not in the majors. Artie Wilson, one of the best shortstops in pro baseball, played minor league ball in Oakland (California) starting in 1948.
He is the subject of Singles and Smiles: How Artie Wilson Broke Baseball’s Color Barrier. Gaylon Wilson is the author and our guest.
Artie Wilson spent the latter part of his life in Portland, and died there just eight years ago.