On this day in Cleveland sports history… 4/13/20

Look out, because this one’s a real doozy.

On this day, all the way back in 1946, Cleveland Buckeyes pitcher Eddie Klep was denied entry onto the baseball field in Birmingham, Alabama, moments before the Negro League franchise was about to take the field. This was ultimately because of Alabama’s segregationalist laws, which prevented him from being able to play with the team that day.

In general, Eddie Klep was an iconic baseball pitcher, but not necessarily because of anything he did on the field. Eddie Klep was noteworthy predominantly for becoming the first white American to play baseball in the Negro League for the Cleveland Buckeyes.

His actual debut came about a month and a half afterward in late May, where he hurled seven innings in the team’s 8-6 win over the Chicago American Giants.

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