Became the first black player to ever play in the American League in 1947 when he joined the Cleveland Indians; played a total of 13 years in the AL.
He was a terrific basketball player in high school, earning a scholarship to Long Island University.
He managed the Chicago White Sox in 1978, becoming the second African American ever to manage a major league baseball team.
He had five children with his wife Helyn.
He broke into the majors with the Cleveland Indians under manager Lou Boudreau.