When thinking of iconic players in baseball, you cannot disregard the contribution of some of the greatest black athletes with several notable MLB records. Modern players and loyal baseball fans hold these players in the highest regard. From MVPS to World Series champions to Hall of Famers, legendary black baseball players have achieved it all and deserve to be celebrated.
If you’re looking for elite athlete success stories, scroll down to relive the incredible successes of five of the finest black baseball players!
MLB Records: Remembering 5 Highly Regarded Baseball Legends
Here are five iconic black athletes in sports well-loved for their game:
Willie Mays was a revered hero in the world of baseball with a successful 22-year career. He amassed 660 home runs and 1,903 RBI. This led to fans regarding him as the finest defensive center fielder.
The five-tool player didn’t come across anything he couldn’t do well on the baseball field. With a rocket arm and the speed to track balls down the vast Polo Grounds, Mays defined athleticism, skill, and grace.
He added 338 steals, 523 doubles, and 140 triples to his home run numbers and ended up with a career line of .302/.384/.557. Mays won 12 Gold Gloves and averaged 40 home runs per season from 1954-1966.
Hank Aaron is the rightful home run king in the eyes of countless baseball fans. With an illustrious career that spanned 23 years, Aaron made 755 home runs and a record 2,297 RBI.
He won NL MVP honors in 1957 and was selected as an All-Star in 21 of his 23 MLB seasons.
Aaron led the league in home runs merely four times. However, he was a consistent beast with 15 seasons in which he landed 30 or more home runs!
Additionally, he is the all-time leader in bases, with a total of 6,856. He added 98 triples and 624 doubles to his home run output. Aaron’s .305/.374/.555 line is superb, considering the length of his career.
Jackie Robinson is widely recognized and celebrated for opening the door for black athletes as he broke the color barrier in 1947. He became the first African American to play in MLB in the modern era. While he is an icon in the sports world, his game was also pretty impressive.
Robinson debuted as first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers when he was already 28. However, managed to hit .311/.409/.474. He also had 137 home runs and 197 steals to his name in his ten seasons with the Dodgers.
Henderson was inarguably the greatest leadoff hitter, base stealer, and trash-talker in the game’s history. Electric, loud, defiant, and brash, Henderson hit 81 leadoff home runs and had an impressively contagious faith in his game.
The iconic left fielder scored 297 home runs and ended up with a career line of .279/.401/.419. Henderson played for various MLB teams throughout his career, including New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Oakland Athletics, and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Ken Griffey Jr.
The undisputed face of MLB black athletes in the 1990s, Griffey Jr., piled up 630 home runs and 1,836 RBI over a 22-year career. He also had 524 doubles and had a .284 batting average with 2,781 hits.
Additionally, Griffey Jr. was an incredible center-field defender and had the most mesmerizing swing in baseball history.
While these African American athletes stole the hearts of countless baseball fans with their impressive MLB records, other black athletes in sports also received love for their game. These include Tony Gwynn, Ernie Banks, Bob Gibson, Joe Morgan, and countless others.
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