31 years before Jackie Robinson, a baseball card pioneer put color into cards.
Integration in the Major Leagues was still a long way from even being considered by the most progressive minds.
In 1916, players of African-American descent were unwelcome on baseball’s biggest stage. But in Oakland, California…at least for a moment…there was a tiny glimmer of hope.
Jimmy Claxton was a 23 year-old pitcher who landed with the Pacific Coast League’s Oakland Oaks just long enough to get his picture on a baseball card.
Claxton didn’t last long and likely thanks to the color of his skin, never got another shot. He was, however, good enough to play on some level until he was in his 50s.
His small slice of professional fame has his card in high demand by collectors who appreciate its scarcity and the story behind it.