1921 – Born on the 19th of November in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Major league baseball’s first black catcher.
1937 – He was with the Bacharach Giants, a semi-pro team, but before the season ended he was the starting catcher for the Baltimore Elite Giants of the Negro National League.
1942 – He went to the Mexican League.
1944 – Returned to the Giants.
1946 – Signed with the Dodgers.
1948 – After two seasons in the minor leagues, he was with the Dodgers briefly at the beginning of the season.
– He was sent down to the minors, primarily to integrate the American Association, but was called back up for good after hitting 13 home runs in 35 games.
1951 – 1955 – Played for four pennant winners in Brooklyn and was named the NL’s most valuable player.
1951 – He hit .325 with 33 homers and 108 RBI.
1953 – He set a record for catchers with 41 home runs, led the league with 142 RBI, and batted .312.
1955 – The Dodgers won their first world championship; he batted .318 with 32 home runs and 107 RBI.
1958 – He was driving from his Harlem liquor store to his home on Long Island when his car skidded on a patch of ice and hit a telephone pole. He suffered two broken vertebrae in his neck and was paralyzed from the chest down.
1959 – The Dodgers moved to Los Angeles that year. He was honored on the 7th of May, before an exhibition game between the Dodgers and the Yankees. A record crowd of 93,103 fans turned out to pay tribute to him.
1974 – Served as a spring training coach for the Dodgers for many years. His autobiography, It’s Good to Be Alive, was adapted as a 1974 made-for-television movie.
1993 – Died on the 26th of June in Woodland Hills, California due to Heart Failure and was buried in Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills, California.