The Double Barrier Breaker:
New York Giants (July 8, 1949)
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS AND AWARDS:
World Series Champion (1954)
Henry Curtis “Hank” Thompson, a versatile third baseman, played parts of four seasons with the Kansas City Monarchs (1943, 1946-48) and served in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1946 during World War II. He earned the rank of sergeant in the 1695th Combat Engineers unit.
The Oklahoma-native holds the distinction of breaking the color barrier on two major-league teams and in both the American (AL) and National Leagues (NL).
Thompson took the field with the St. Louis Browns (AL) on July 17, 1947 and nearly two years later, on July 8, 1949, he and Monte Irvin became the New York Giants’ (NL) first Black players. In 1951, he, Irvin and Willie Mays, another former Negro Leaguer, comprised the first all-Black starting outfield in World Series history. After retiring from baseball, Thompson became a cab driver in New York and endured various personal struggles. He died following complications due to a seizure on September 30, 1969. He was 43 years old.