DECEMBER 14, 1892


Born in Wellington, British Columbia, Claxton, who claimed Native American heritage, began playing baseball at age 13. In 1916, he joined the Pacific League Oakland Oaks after a Native American friend introduced him as a member of his tribe, thus getting him around baseball’s racial barrier. On May 28, 1916, Claxton broke the pro baseball color line by pitching in both games of a doubleheader. The Zee-Nut candy company unwittingly made Claxton the 1st Black player on a baseball card. Within a week, his African heritage was disclosed and he was fired. Claxton believed it was due to race; the Oaks claimed it was 3 runs, 4 hits & 4 walks in 2 & 1/3 innings. Claxton later played for: The all-Black semi-pro Shasta Limited in California where he struck out 19 players in a game; Negro League Chicago Union Giants & Cuban Stars; and East-West League Washington Pilots. Claxton died on March 3, 1970, in Tacoma, WA. Halls of Fame: Tacoma-Pierce County Sports (1969) and Canadian Baseball (2021).

Source: “Jimmy Claxton,” BR Bullpen.  Retrieved 6/26/2022, Jimmy Claxton - BR Bullpen (
Photo:  Author unknown, circa 1916. Likely Public Domain.  If not Public Domain, then Fair Use.  Source:

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