RIP Pumpsie Green

RoDaddy

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Sad to hear. While he didn't appear to have been a very good player, at least looking at his stats, he was one of the biggest names in franchise history because of the shameful last to integrate Sox. Although this article says Yawkey treated him very well:


The other part of this same embarrassing legacy, of course, is that we could very well have signed Willie Mays to break the color barrier way before Pumpsie. Imagine what could have been with Mays and Willams hitting 3/4 in the 50's - with Jensen thrown in for part of that time!

RIP Pumpsie
 

Bernie Carbohydrate

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All praise to Jackie Robinson, but spare a thought for Green. Imagine how much it sucked to be on the last team to integrate. Green didn't have a Branch Rickey backing him. Green was managed by Pinkie Higgins, an old-school racist who wanted nothing to do with breaking any barriers

As Howard Bryant tells it, when Green arrived in Boston, Bill Russell took him on a tour of the city, driving him around and pointing out the "brick throwing" neighborhoods such as Southie, lest Green take a wrong turn.

For his part, Green was hesitant to be interviewed, afraid he would say something inflammatory. So reporters would ask him how he felt about race relations in Boston, and Green would give a canned non-answer. Pretty soon reporters started implying Green was dumb, since he was soft-spoken and didn't give them any good quotes.

It didn't help that Green's closest friend on the team, and one of the few white players who made him feel welcome, was Gene Conley, who was a heavy drinker, a party guy, and maybe a little crazy.

The biggest headlines Green earned in 1962 were when he and Gene Conley went AWOL, walking off the team bus as it was stuck in heavy New York traffic. It was July 26, and the team had just lost to the Yankees, 13-3, and the players were hot. They thought they might get a drink, and seem to have “done the town in style.” Conley apparently also tried to talk Pumpsie into going to Bethlehem with him “to be nearer to God.” Pumpsie preferred rejoining the team in Washington and turned up a little more than 24 hours later.
Pumpsie Green
 

Mugsy's Jock

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I did not know until read the obit that Pumpsie’s brother was longtime Cowboys DB Cornel Green.

RIP Pumpsie. Thanks for doing what was undoubtedly some heavy lifting.
 

pantsparty

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that we could very well have signed Willie Mays to break the color barrier way before Pumpsie. Imagine what could have been with Mays and Willams hitting 3/4 in the 50's
One unfortunate truth that I have had to confront is that it wasn't the Curse of the Bambino, it was that the people who ran my favorite team were assholes.
 

Al Zarilla

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By the time the Red Sox signed Green, the Celtics had signed five African Americans, including three future Hall of famers (Russell, Sam Jones and KC Jones). The first was Chuck Cooper in 1950, also the first in the entire NBA.
 

Spelunker

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Sad to hear. While he didn't appear to have been a very good player, at least looking at his stats, he was one of the biggest names in franchise history because of the shameful last to integrate Sox. Although this article says Yawkey treated him very well:


The other part of this same embarrassing legacy, of course, is that we could very well have signed Willie Mays to break the color barrier way before Pumpsie. Imagine what could have been with Mays and Willams hitting 3/4 in the 50's - with Jensen thrown in for part of that time!

RIP Pumpsie
JoePos republished an article he wrote on Pumpsie. It's an especially useful read for anyone that doesn't think Yawkey was racist.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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By the time the Red Sox signed Green, the Celtics had signed five African Americans, including three future Hall of famers (Russell, Sam Jones and KC Jones). The first was Chuck Cooper in 1950, also the first in the entire NBA.
The Boston Braves had an African American on their team (Sam Jethroe) and left town before the Red Sox promoted Green.

Speaking of Green and the Red Sox. I was thinking about the Red Sox Hall of Fame earlier today (a phrase not usually uttered by anyone) and I wondered if Green was a member. He technically is, but it's a "moment" -- the moment being when the Sox finally got their heads out of their asses and allowed an African American to wear their uniform. I'm not sure how I feel about Green being labeled a moment, on one hand, he didn't have a great career and if he wasn't the first African American ball player on the last MLB team to integrate, he'd be forgotten. However, he was the last first African American ball player on the Sox and while his teammates were mostly cool to him, he still probably had to deal with a lot of shit. Not only that, is being the last team to integrate a moment that the Red Sox should be proud of?

Not integrating until 1959 is disgraceful and then having a very small amount of African American players on the team for until the late 60s is ridiculous and is one of the biggest factors in the view point on Boston and race relations.

My point is this: if you want Pumpsie Green in your Hall of Fame, induct the man. Don't make him a token. Again.