Subscribe on iTunes ——->

In 1884, nearly 60 years before Jackie Robinson, an Toledo Blue Stocking by the name of Moses Fleetwood Walker played his first game in the major leagues. He was the first African-American to play major league baseball. Moses Fleetwood Walker and his brother Weldy W. Walker would become the first African-American siblings on major league team for nearly 80 years.

Weldy Walker would play on the team for only 5 games, and Moses Fleetwood Walker got injured just over halfway through the season.

After baseball, the Walker Brothers stayed active in civil rights. When the Jim Crow laws took effect, the Walker Brothers were deeply saddened. Wedly Walker would write “the most passionate cry for justice ever voice by a negro athlete” to The Sporting Life magazine.

Here is a copy of the letter.

After baseball, Moses Fleetwood Walker would get into the theatre industry. On┬álate night on Fleetwood’s walk home, he would be attacked by 12 white men. He was beaten, but in his struggle, he stabbed one of the men and killed him. Moses Fleetwood Walker would face trial by jury, and he would argue self-defense. The 12-man, all white jury would deliver the verdict of Moses Fleetwood Walker – not guilty, he was acquitted.

The accomplishments of these two men go heavily unrecognized in history books. On this episode of the 419, we hope to give these men the credit they’re due by telling a story of baseball’s history and a brief introduction to the Walker Brothers.