Better Late than Never
On this day in the year of 1954 the Washington Senators played a black ballplayer for the first time. His name was Carlos Paula and he was from Havana, Cuba. The 26 year-old Paula started in left field for the Senators on September 6, 1954 seven years after Jackie Robinson made his Major League debut.
Carlos will play in only nine games in total for the Senators in 1954. It was in 1955 when Paula became a regular in the Senators’ starting lineup. During the ’55 season Paula played in 115 games for the Senators and had an impressive .299 batting average.
In 1956 Carlos Paula will struggle at the plate with a .183 batting average in 33 games. With Jim Lemon having a breakout year with the bat and the addition of rookie center fielder Whitey Herzog there was no room for the struggling Paula in the Senators’ outfield. On June 23, 1956 the Washington Senators optioned Carlos Paula to the Minneapolis Millers. Carlos will never make it back to the majors.