Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball in 1947. There were prior attempts. One of the stories includes Bill Veeck telling the commissioner of his plans to buy the Phillies and stock the team with players from the Negro League. The team was sold out from under Veeck and never happened.

By accident I ran across the fact that today, March 11, marks the 114th anniversary of the Cincinnati Enquirer running a story that stated the Baltimore Orioles had signed a second baseman named Charlie Grant. The story said that Grant was an Indian. Wrong! While training in Arkansas, John McGraw of the Orioles caught wind of a bellhop who happened to be a pretty good baseball player. However, Grant was black. McGraw supposedly cooked up a scheme to pass Grant off as an Indian. The story being that Grant's father was white and his mother was a Cherokee. McGraw even changed Grant's name to Charlie Tokohama.

The plan began to fall apart when Grant arrived with the team in Chicago, where a number of his African-American friends staged a big ceremony celebrating Grant making a major league ball club. Baseball folks began to get suspicious and finally figured out what was happening. When the Orioles left town, Grant was left behind and never reached the majors.

This is just a brief synopsis on the life of Charlie Grant. One of those forgotten footnotes in history. To find out more, just Google Charlie Grant.