Elston Gene Howard (February 23, 1929-December 14, 1980) was a Major League Baseball player.
He was born in Saint Louis, Missouri.
In 1948, the 19-year-old Howard entered the Negro Leagues, playing for the Kansas City Monarchs. He played three years as an outfielder and catcher.
He was the first African-American to play for the New York Yankees. The Yankees were relatively late to sign African-American players, but finally signed Vic Power and Howard. Power, however, was traded away to the Philadelphia Athletics before ever playing a game for the Yankees.
Howard was signed from the Monarchs on July 19, 1950. He was assigned to the Yankees' farm team at Muskegon, Michigan, and after several years in the minors, played his first game for the Yankees on April 14, 1955. He wore uniform number 32 for his whole Yankee career, and that number has been retired in his honor.
He played in nine All-Star Games, every year from 1957 to 1965. He was awarded the Most Valuable Player award in 1963. He won the Gold Glove award twice, in 1963 and 1964.
On August 3, 1967 he was traded to the Boston Red Sox for Pete Magrini and a player to be named later (Ron Klimkowski was sent to the Yankees five days later). He was assigned uniform number 18 by the Red Sox.
On October 29, 1968 he was released by the Red Sox. The next year, he returned to the Yankees, where he coached for 11 years.
He died in New York City.
- Elston Howard at:
- Baseball Almanac (http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/player.php?p=howarel01)
- Baseball Library (http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/ballplayers/H/Howard_Elston.stm)
- Baseball Page (http://www.thebaseballpage.com/past/pp/howardelston/)
- Baseball Reference (http://www.baseball-reference.com/h/howarel01.shtml)