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Moses Fleetwood Walker (Moses Fleetwood Walker)

Moses Fleetwood Walker

Moses Fleetwood “Fleet” Walker (October 7, 1856 – May 11, 1924) was an American professional baseball catcher who is credited with being one of the first black men to play in Major League Baseball (MLB). A native of Mount Pleasant, Ohio, and a star athlete at Oberlin College as well as the University of Michigan, Walker played for semi-professional and minor league baseball clubs before joining the Toledo Blue Stockings of the American Association (AA) for the 1884 season. Though research suggests William Edward White was the first African-American baseball player in MLB, unlike White who passed as a white man, Walker was open about his black heritage, and often faced racial bigotry prevalent in the late 19th century. His brother, Weldy, became the second black athlete to do so later in the same year, also for the Toledo ball club. Walker played just one season, 42 games total, for Toledo before injuries entailed his release. Moses Fleetwood Walker played in the minor leagues until 1889, and was the last African-American to participate on the major league level before Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color line in 1947. After his baseball career, he became a successful businessman and inventor. As an advocate of Black nationalism, Walker also jointly edited a newspaper, The Equator, with his brother. He published a book, Our Home Colony (1908), to explore ideas about emigrating back to Africa. On May 11, 1924, Walker died of lobar pneumonia at 67 years of age. His body was buried at Union Cemetery-Beatty Park next to his first wife.

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Born

  • October, 07, 1856
  • USA
  • Mount Pleasant, Ohio

Died

  • May, 11, 1924
  • USA
  • Cleveland, Ohio

Cause of Death

  • pneumonia

Cemetery

  • Union Cemetery
  • Steubenville, Ohio
  • USA

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