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Jackie 70

A team-by-team list of African-American MLB players

Seventy years after Jackie’s debut, the numbers remain low

Major League Baseball will celebrate its annual Jackie Robinson Day from New York’s Yankee Stadium to Safeco Field in Seattle on Saturday. The celebration includes the unveiling of a statue in Robinson’s honor at Dodger Stadium, and the baseball team at UCLA, Robinson’s alma mater, will wear cleats with newspaper headlines and Robinson’s No. 42 on them.

Robinson’s appearance on Opening Day with the Brooklyn Dodgers 70 years ago ended 60 years of baseball segregation, as he became the first African-American to play Major League Baseball in the modern era.

In 1956, Robinson’s final year in the majors, African-Americans constituted 6.7 percent of major league rosters. Today that number is 7.7 percent, according to MLB.

Here is a list of African-American players on 2017 Opening Day rosters, including the disabled list, as provided by MLB.


Diamondbacks (1): Taijuan Walker

Braves (2): Matt Kemp, Brandon Phillips

Orioles (2): Mychal Givens, Adam Jones

Red Sox (3): Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley, Chris Young

Cubs (3): Addison Russell, Carl Edwards Jr., Jason Heyward

White Sox (2): Jacob May, Tim Anderson

Reds (2): Amir Garrett, Billy Hamilton

Indians (2): Michael Brantley, Austin Jackson

Rockies: None

Tigers (1): Justin Upton

Astros (2): Tony Sipp, George Springer

Royals (2): Lorenzo Cain, Terrance Gore

Angels (2): Cameron Maybin, Ben Revere

Dodgers (1): Andrew Toles

Marlins (2): Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon

Brewers (2): Keon Broxton, Eric Thames

Twins (1): Byron Buxton

Mets (1): Curtis Granderson

Yankees (4): Chris Carter, CC Sabathia, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge

Athletics (4): Jharel Cotton, Khris Davis, Rajai Davis, Marcus Semien

Phillies (2): Aaron Altherr, Howie Kendrick

Pirates (3): Andrew McCutchen, Josh Bell, Josh Harrison

Padres: None

Giants (1): Denard Span

Mariners (1): Jarrod Dyson

Cardinals (1): Dexter Fowler

Rays (4): Mallex Smith, Tim Beckham, Rickie Weeks, Chris Archer

Rangers (3): Delino DeShields, Matt Bush, Jeremy Jeffress

Blue Jays (3): Devon Travis, Marcus Stroman, Russell Martin

Nationals (1): Michael Taylor

Disabled list: Micah Johnson (Braves), Ian Desmond (Rockies), David Price (Red Sox), Tyson Ross (Rangers), Dalton Pompey (Blue Jays)

Branson Wright is a multimedia sports reporter for The Cleveland Plain Dealer. He is co-host of The Sports Brothers radio show and a documentary film director and producer.