This was just released and I thought I’d keep you all in the loop! And the Big I was kind enough to take this photo of Pumpsie just about an hour ago while he was taking a tour of the ballpark. Enjoy!
Mike Ivins/Boston Red Sox
“The Voice of the Nation”
For Immediate Release
April 17, 2009
RED SOX TO HONOR PUMPSIE GREEN DURING JACKIE ROBINSON DAY CEREMONIES
Green to deliver First Pitch to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of his debut with the ballclub;
Jackie Robinson Scholars will also be recognized as part of ceremonies
BOSTON, MA – The Boston Red Sox will honor former infielder Elijah Jerry ‘Pumpsie’ Green on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his breaking the color barrier for the ballclub in 1959, and as part of the club’s annual Jackie Robinson Day ceremonies. Green will deliver the Ceremonial First Pitch before the Red Sox vs. Orioles game at Fenway Park on Friday, April 17, 2009.
“On behalf of John Henry, Tom Werner, and the entire Red Sox organization, I want to express our sincere pleasure in welcoming Pumpsie Green back to Fenway Park where he made history 50 years ago,” said Larry Lucchino, President/CEO. “The legacy of players like Pumpsie Green and Jackie Robinson is evidenced by the presence of the diversity of players like Jim Rice, Mo Vaughn, Dave Roberts and David Ortiz as part of the Red Sox’ more recent history. As fans and as an organization we owe both Pumpsie Green and Jackie Robinson a debt of gratitude for their courageous contributions to the game and to society.”
Green’s debut with the Red Sox was on July 21, 1959 against the Chicago White Sox at Old Comiskey Park in Chicago when he came into the game in the top of the 8th inning as a pinch runner for Vic Wertz who was pinch hitting for shortstop Don Buddin. Green stayed in the game defensively for the bottom of the inning and played shortstop. Green’s Fenway Park debut was on August 4, 1959 against the Kansas City Athletics when he started the game in the leadoff spot and played second base.
During four years in a Red Sox uniform, Green batted .244 in 327 games with 12 home runs and 69 RBI along with an on-base percentage of .353. He was traded to the New York Mets at the end of the 1962 season and played 29 games for the Mets in 1963 before retiring from baseball.
The Red Sox also honored four Jackie Robinson scholars, sponsored by the Jackie Robinson Foundation and the Red Sox Foundation, as part of the ceremonies. The scholars who were recognized in a pre-game ceremony on the field are: Titciana Barros (Boston College), Adriana Lee (Rutgers University), Shakeela Najjar (Boston University) and Danielle Whiteman (Boston College). Each Jackie Robinson Scholar receives up to $7,500 a year in direct support and becomes an active member in the Jackie Robinson Foundation’s unique Education and Leadership Development Program, which includes professional mentoring and and assistance for summer internships and permanent employment.
Jackie Robinson Day ceremonies are held annually throughout Major League Baseball to commemorate the date (April 15, 1947) on which Robinson debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers and became the first African-American ballplayer to don a Major League uniform and integrate baseball. This year, every player throughout baseball wore the number ’42’ on April 15 to honor Robinson for his contributions to the game and his leadership on issues of civil and human rights.