COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday, officially designating October 7th as "Moses Fleetwood Walker Day" in the state.
Walker became the first African-American to play in the major leagues in 1884, when the Toledo Blue Stockings joined the American Association. The AA was a professional baseball league considered a major league during its ten season, from 1882 to 1891.
State Senator Edna Brown applauded the bill's passage. “Moses Fleetwood Walker is relatively unknown compared to Jackie Robinson,” said Senator Brown. “However, his baseball career began over half-a-century prior to Jackie’s. I’m pleased that this bill was passed in recognition of the man who truly broke the barrier prohibiting black men from playing organized baseball.”
In addition to his athletic achievements, Walker attended Oberlin College as a student-athlete and received his undergraduate degree. He later went on to attend law school at the University of Michigan.