Friday, February 19, 2021

Barrier Breakers: John Kennedy, Philadelphia Phillies

It's been a while since I posted to this series.  The truth is I was hoping to find a better photo to use.  As it is, I colorized this black and white photo of John Kennedy and superimposed him into Connie Mack Stadium. I'm not really happy with the final product but at some point I need to quit tinkering and move on.

Although John Kennedy broke the color barrier with the Phillies, his career was brief.  He played in just five MLB games. Three times he came in as a pinch runner, twice as a defensive replacement late in the game.  In all he had just two plate appearances. He struck out and grounded out. The first black player to register a base hit with the Phillies was Tony Curry in 1960.  

It is odd that the Phillies were so late to integrate.  It may have been quite a bit different.  I had posted earlier about Bill Veeck who claimed in his 1961 autobiography that he tried to buy the Phillies in 1943.  He claimed his plan was to populate the team with top negro league players. Click Here to see that old post.

Because his career with the Phillies was so short, it was difficult to find a suitable photo. If anybody can find a better photo, I'd love to have a do-over.

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