1949 Monte Irvin and Hank Thompson are the first blacks to play for the Giants. Thompson—the first black to play for the St. Louis Browns (in 1947)—starts at 2B, and Irvin pinch-hits in the 8th. When Thompson steps in against Don Newcombe, it is the first time in MLB that a black pitcher and hitter have faced off.
1966 A crowd of 44, 468, including Vice President Hubert Humphrey, attends a historic opener at Washington. Emmett Ashford becomes the major league’s first black umpire in the Cleveland Indians’ 5-2 win against the Senators, 19 years after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier.
Branch Rickey becomes the principal stockholder of the Dodgers. He and associates Walter O’Malley and John Smith acquire the 50 percent interest of the Ebbets estate for a reported price of $750,000. Two years later he and Jackie Robinson would break the color barrier in the major leagues as Jackie played for Brooklyn.