Sam Hairston was the second black player on the Chicago White Sox following Minnie Minoso. He had played for the Birmingham Black Barons and the Indianapolis Clowns where he won the American Negro League triple crown hitting .424 with 17 homers and 71 RBIs in 70 games. Hairston was one of 6 catchers on the 1951 White Sox. He would continue to play in the minors until 1960. In all he would spend more than 50 years in professional baseball as a player, coach and scout.
He is the father of former big leaguers Jerry and John Hairston and the grand father of New York Met outfielder Scott Hairston and L.A. Dodger utility player Jerry Hairston Jr.