Today In Brewer History: Breaking The Reds' Color Barrier

Over the weekend Major League Baseball celebrated the 65th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier and becoming the league's first black player. It's worth noting, though, that many teams took much longer to integrate. On this day in 1954 the Reds finally debuted their first black players, as Nino Escalera and Chuck Harmon both entered the game as pinch hitters in a 5-1 loss to the Braves in Milwaukee.

Neither Escalera or Harmon had long major league careers ahead of them: 1954 was Escalera's only season in the big leagues and Harmon was done after just 289 career games in 1957. But both of them played a small part in paving the way for generations that have followed.

The Braves, for what it's worth, already had three black players in the lineup on this day: Hank Aaron and Bill Bruton both started in the outfield, and Jim Pendleton joined them later in the game.

With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:

On this day in 1998 the Brewers beat the Giants 5-2. Jose Mercedes was the winning pitcher that day and also picked up his only major league hit in the game.

Today is also the third anniversary of Gary Sheffield hitting his 500th home run in the Mets' 5-4 win over the Brewers. We covered that event in this space last year.

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