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Credit: Associated Press

Jackie Robinson broke the MLB color barrier in 1947 as a second baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was also the first black MVP, winning the award in 1949, and the first African-American Hall of Famer, inducted in 1962. His number is now retired throughout Major League Baseball.







Credit: Associated Press

Shortly after Jackie Robinson, Larry Doby was signed by the Cleveland Indians in 1947 as the first black player in the American League. He was a seven-time All-Star.


Credit: Wisconsin Athletic Communications

In the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, George Poage became the first black athlete to participate in the Olympics, and the first to medal. He won bronze in the 440 meter hurdles.








Credit: Getty Images

Together, Chuck Cooper, Nat Clifton (pictured) and Earl Lloyd broke the NBA's color line. Cooper was the first black player drafted, taken by Boston; Clifton was the first to sign an NBA contract, with the Knicks; and Lloyd was the first to appear in a game, with the Capitols.


Credit: Associated Press

On Oct. 18, 1953, Willie Thrower became the first black quarterback to appear in an NFL game. Bears coach George Halas replaced George Blanda with him midway through a game. Thrower appeared in one more game in his NFL career.

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