Life of Former Major League Baseball Player Elijah “Pumpsie” Green to be Celebrated on Aug. 25

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The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors last week unanimously passed a resolution declaring August 25, 2019 as Elijah “Pumpsie” Green Day.

Green will be honored for advancing civil rights in becoming the first African American to play for the Boston Red Sox, the last major league team to integrate.

Green’s legacy will be celebrated at the Annual Soulful Softball event at Nicholl Park in Richmond on Sunday, August 25 at 12 p.m.

“Pumpsie Green was a product of our community whose courage and determination changed history and continues to serve as an inspiration,” said Board of Supervisors Chair John Gioia, who sponsored the resolution. “It’s fitting that we will honor him at Soulful Softball Sunday, an event that brings together our community and celebrates our diversity as our strength.”

Green who was nicknamed “Pumpsie” by his mother was born in Oklahoma, but grew up in Richmond war worker housing after his family moved west during World War II. He attended El Cerrito High School and Contra Costa College.

Green made his major league debut on July 21, 1959, pinch-running in a 2–1 loss against the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park in Chicago, and making history. He went on to enjoy a 13-year professional career that included parts of five major league seasons with the Red Sox (1959-62) and New York Mets (1963).

After his baseball career, Green moved back to El Cerrito, where he raised his family while working at Berkeley High School for over 20 years coaching baseball and teaching, and remaining active in the local community.

Green died on July 17 in San Leandro. He was 85.

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