My blogging pal, and fellow New Yorker, Steve Keane, sole owner and proprietor of The Eddie Kranepool Society, recently took exception with an article written by Daily News columnist Filip Bondy. The article in question was a puff piece about one of Bondy’s beloved “Bleacher Creatures.” It is a trivial little column, and I’m certain that this isn’t the first time the Yankee-friendly Bondy has chapped Keane’s—or any other self-respecting Met fan’s—behind:
I have never hide [sic] my hatred for Filip Bondy of the NY Daily News. I’ve always felt that Bondy has had a vendetta against the Mets. Back in the late 80’s he wrote a column calling Mets management racist for not having any African-American players on the team. This is the same guy who writes about his love for the NY Yankees. The same NY Yankees who would have been the last team in baseball to become interrogated [sic] if it were not for the Boston Red Sox.
While I can’t disagree with Keane’s assessment of Bondy, I do want to offer some clarification regarding the Yankees race record. They were one of the last teams to integrate, but when they finally promoted Ellie Howard to the majors in 1955, there were still three teams that remained all-white: the Phillies, Tigers and of course, the Red Sox.
The Yankees’ racist management, and the casual bigotry of Casey Stengel and some of the players is indeed a shameful mark on the teamís history. Interestingly, they initially had been one of the first clubs to sign black players. In 1949, GM George Weiss recruited Artie Wilson, Frank Austin, and Luis Angel Martinez; next, they bought the contracts of Bob Thurman and Taborn from the Kansas City Monarchs. But none of these players came close to making the big club, who by then, were in the process of reeling off five consecutive championships.
According to Jules Tygielís scholarly history of integration, “Baseballís Great Experiment:”
The Yankees had