Question 12.0 (4/5/2011):
Who was the first white player to integrate the Negro Leagues?
The answer was C: Eddie Klepp.
Left-handed pitcher Eddie Klepp played for the Cleveland Buckeyes in 1946—one year before Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby integrated the National and American leagues.
Klepp's position on the team was meant to gather attention and fill a roster that was hit hard by injuries and player defections to Latin America. Klepp was not as talented as the other players on the Buckeyes and was released by June 1946.
It should be noted that Cleveland Indians pitcher Bob Feller (who just passed away last December) took part in a high-profile barnstorming tour with famous Negro League pitcher Satchel Paige. Paige also joined the Cleveland Indians in 1948. Dubbed the Feller-Paige All Stars, a team of white players—led by Feller—and a team of Negro League players—led by Paige—traveled the country playing each other in different towns. This was often referred to as 'barnstorming.'
Question courtesy of Stephanie Liscio. Liscio is a history scholar and author of the book Integrating Cleveland Baseball, which traces the history of Cleveland's 11 Negro teams. Liscio is also president of the Cleveland Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research.
Week Twelve Stats
How did you do? Stats: 52 people submitted answers for Question 12.0, 24 contestants selected the correct answer. Average time to correctly answer: 23.9 seconds. Fastest time? Four seconds. Check out last week's top 10 players.