The Stockton Ports are saddened to learn two former players passed earlier this month.
"It was a pleasure to get to know both Pumpsie and Ernie and host them for multiple visits to the ballpark," Ports President Pat Filippone said. "They both were outstanding ambassadors of not only the Stockton Ports, but of the game of baseball as a whole. They will both be dearly missed."
Elijah "Pumpsie" Green was born on October 27, 1933, and grew up in Oakland, California. As a child, he listened to Oakland Oaks games and dreamed of playing in the Pacific Coast League--the League which gave rise to such athletes as Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio. While playing baseball with the Contra Costa Community College, Green attended an open tryout held by the Oakland Oaks, a Pacific Coast League team. He was signed, and eventually sent to the Stockton Ports team in 1955.
The shortstop had a terrific season with the Ports in 1955. He batted .319 with 31 doubles, 11 triples, 12 home runs and 83 RBI. He also stole 31 bases that season. For his performance, Green was named the California League post-season All-Star shortstop and selected as the California League MVP. But Green never made it up to the Oakland Oaks.
His contract was purchased by the Boston Red Sox in the middle of the 1955 season. Rather than heading to Montgomery, Ala. to play in the Red Sox organization, Green requested to finish the season with the Ports. In 1956, Green traveled to Sarasota, Fla. to participate in Spring Training. He played in the Eastern League and Texas League, before moving up to play for the San Francisco Seals in 1957.
With a .333 batting average, he helped the Seals capture the PCL crown. In 1959, Green went to Spring Training in Scottsdale, Ariz., still facing the team's segregation and racism. But Green made his major league debut on July 21, 1959.
He became the first African American to play with the Boston Red Sox, the last major league team to integrate. More than a decade before, the great Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Green finished the 1959 season with a .233 average, with most of his playing time coming from second base, rather than his usual shortstop position.
Green spent a total of five seasons in the major leagues, four with the Red Sox and one with the New York Mets. He compiled a .246 batting average, with 31 doubles, 12 triples, 13 home runs and 74 RBI in 344 total career games. Green's last season in professional baseball was in 1965, with the Buffalo Bison and Syracuse Chiefs. Following his retirement from the game, Green returned to the Bay Area in California and became a math teacher in the Berkeley school district and baseball coach.
The Ports will remember Pumpsie not only his accomplishments as a Port and a California League MVP, but also his work to help break baseball's color barrier.
Ernest Gilbert Broglio was born on August 27, 1935 in Berkeley, CA. He attended El Cerritos High School, and spent eight years in the Minor Leagues before his Major League Baseball debut with the St. Louis Cardinals on April 11, 1959.
Broglio pitched for the Ports in 1955, compiling a 20-10 record with a 3.43 ERA in 252 innings. He had a career year in his sophomore season with the Cardinals, finishing 21-9 with a career-low 2.74 ERA, and a career-high 188 strikeouts. He finished his eight-year MLB career with an overall record of 77-74, a 3.74 ERA, and 849 strikeouts in 1,337.1 innings.
The Ports inducted Broglio as an inaugural member of the Stockton Ports Alumni Club in 2008, and honored him by giving away an Ernie Broglio bronze statue to fans. The Ports will continue to remember the him as a pillar in a long history of distinguished, accomplished Ports alumni.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.