Friday, November 20, 2020

Barrier Breakers: Hank Thompson, St. Louis Browns

Hank Thompson began his career as a 17 year old outfielder for the 1943 Kansas City Monarchs. He spent the next 2 1/2 seasons in the Army.  He was a machine gunner at the Battle of the Bulge.  In 1946 he rejoined the Monarchs in the midst of a championship run.

In 1947 he and teammate, Willard Brown were signed by the St. Louis Browns.  Thompson made his field debut first on July 17th.  Two days later, Brown made his debut.  Neither player would be on the Browns after the '47 season.  Although Willard Brown played only a partial MLB season, he would be inducted into the Hall of Fame for his Negro League accomplishments in 2006.  Hank Thompson would go on to be the first black player on the New York Giants in 1949.

The card itself was an invention of mine.  Bond Bread did produce baseball cards in 1947 but they were little more than black and white photos. I took some liberties by altering some non-sports cards of theirs from that era.  I wanted a color card that was the modern standard dimensions of 2.5" x 3.5".

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