The 10 Best Catchers In New York Yankees History

4. Elston Howard

Not only was Elston Howard the first African-American to play for the New York Yankees, he was the first African-American to win he American League MVP award in 1963.

In 13 seasons in New York Howard batted .279 and cranked 161 home runs but his leadership as a catcher is the reason Whitey Ford won 24 games and Jim Bouton won 21 in 1963.

In 1969, he returned to the Yankees as a coach, becoming the first black coach in team history. His death in 1980, caused by a heart ailment, presumably prevented him from becoming New York’s first black manager.

To this day, the Yankees have never had a black manager, but they did retire Howard’s Number 32 and give him a well-earned Plaque in Monument Park.

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