More blacks would come to the majors in 1948 — notably Roy Campanella with the Dodgers and the legendary Satchel Paige with the Indians.
But in 1947, there were just the five — and only Robinson was a true success on the field that season. He was also the only one to spend any time in the white minors before hitting the major leagues. Two of the other four were talented enough to reach Cooperstown, but they weren’t prepared for the ordeal of 1947 as Robinson had been.
Edward Thoma is a columnist for The Free Press in Mankato, Minn. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.