There is Nothing like the First Time

Updated: July 17, 2013

There is Nothing like the First Time is a new feature on Black, where we take a proud look at the first time something took place in history. You will be shocked and amazed at the outstanding accomplishments of Black Athletes from throughout history

1.) The first Black world heavyweight boxing champion was Jack Johnson, who won the title on December 26, 1908, defeating Tommy Burns in the 15th round, in Syndey, Austraila.

2.) The first African-American with majority interest in a major professional sports franchise was Robert L. Johnson of Black Entertainment Network, who bought the NBA expansion franchise in Charlotte, NC in 2003.

3.) The first African-American in Major League Baseball was Moses Fleeting Wood Walker; who was a catcher on the Toledo team of the American Association in 1884.

4.) The first Black World Champion in boxing was George Dixon, who won the bantemweight title on June 27, 1890, defeating Nunc Wallace in the 18th round.

5.) The single season home run champion is Barry Bond, who hit 73 home runs in 2001.

6.) The first Black signed by a National Basketball Association team was Charles “Chuck” Cooper, who signed a contract with the Boston Celtics in April 1950.

7.) The first Black general manager in the NFL was Ozzie Newsome, who was selected by the Baltimore Ravens on November 25, 2002.

8.) The first Black coach of a predominately white professional team in the modern era was John McLendon, who coached the Cleveland Pipers in the American Basketball League in 1961-1962.

9.) The first Black coach of a major predominately white professional team was Bill Russell, who was signed by the Boston Celtics basketball team on April 18, 1966.

10.) The first Black head coach of a professional football team in the modern era was Art Shell, who was selected by the Oakland Raiders on October 3, 1989.

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