African-American baseball landmarks

1870s-'80s: More than 50 blacks play on early white professional teams.

1885: First organized black team, the Cuban Giants, is formed.

1887: Baseball begins to exclude blacks by unwritten agreement.

1944: Suggestion by Bill Veeck, general manager of Philadelphia Phillies, that major leagues use black players during World War II because of shortage of top white players is rejected.

1946: Jackie Robinson joins minor-league Montreal Royals, a farm team for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He is the first black player in organized baseball since 1899.

1947: The Dodgers purchase Robinson's contract from Montreal and, at age 28, he begins his rookie major-league season.

1948: With opportunities opening on white teams, this is the last viable season for Negro League play.

1949: Robinson leads National League with .342 batting average and 37 stolen bases.

1950: With four blacks in uniform - Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe, Dan Bankhead, and Robinson - the Dodgers become black America's team. Only five other blacks play in majors.

1951: Willie Mays, Monte Irvin, and Hank Thompson of the New York Giants form an all-black outfield.

1956: On the verge of a trade to the New York Giants, Robinson retires after 10 seasons in majors in which he played every position except pitcher and catcher.

1958: The percentage of blacks in big-league baseball approximates that in society for the first time.

1962: Robinson is the first black elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

1974: Frank Robinson (no relation to Jackie) is named player-manager of the Cleveland Indians, breaking another color barrier.

1989: Bill White, former all-star player, becomes president of the National League.

1995: Blacks now fill these top posts: Leonard Coleman, National League president; Bob Watson, general manager of the Houston Astros; and managers Dusty Baker (San Francisco), Don Baylor (Colorado), and Cito Gaston (Toronto).

Source: ``A Hard Road to Glory: A History of the African-American Athlete Since 1946,'' by Arthur Ashe.

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.