0 Black History's Forgotten Sportin' Life Players

  • Sports
  • by Hugh Smith
  • 02/25/2008

Beyond Jackie Robinson, Tiger Woods, Wilma Rudolph, and other famous sports legends, black history honor rolls are filled with many other competitive athletes who made their mark.

Here are 5 sports originals who richly deserve a second look, although they may not be the best known.

  1. Alice Coachman - Represented the women's track team at Tuskegee Institute. Alice was the only woman on the 1948 U.S. Olympic team to win a gold medal in track and field (high jump).

  2. Dan Bankhead - The first African American pitcher in Major League Baseball (August 1947 for the Brooklyn Dodgers).

  3. Fritz Pollard - First black All-American (1916). This football legend played for Brown University between 1915 - 1916. He played in the first Rose Bowl game (January 1, 1916 - Brown vs. Washington State).

  4. Marshall W. "Major" Taylor - A cyclist who won the World Cycle Racing Championship in 1899. Taylor won the U.S. trophy in 1900. He was called the fastest bike rider in the world.

  5. Pele' - Born Edson Arantes De Nascimento in Tres Coracoes, Brazil, "The Black Pearl" became the most famous soccer player in the world. At 17, he led the Brazilian team to their first World Cup in Sweden (1958).