Racial Barriers Were Broken

It's hard to believe there was a time in our history when we didn't allow an entire part of our culture and community the same rights as everyone else.  Such was/is the case throughout history for countless numbers of minorities.

But did you know that Nashua, New Hampshire, has a piece in breaking the racial barrier?

The Nashua Dodgers

The Nashua Dodgers baseball team was a minor league team in 1946, according to baseball-reference.com, who played their home games at Holman Stadium.  At the time, there were no African-American players allowed to play in any minor or major baseball team.

That all changed when the Brooklyn Dodgers Manager, Branch Rickey, signed three African American players: Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe, and future hall of famer Jackie Robinson, according to an article from New Hampshire Public Radio.

Campanella and Newcombe would join the "Class B Nashua farm team," NHPR reported,  and the Nashua Dodgers became the first team in the entire country to have black and white men sharing the field.

Robinson would play for the Triple-A Dodger affiliate in Montreal, according to NHPR.

Milb.com stated that Campanella and Newcombe "dominated" in the game when they came to Nashua, and were relatively embraced by the people there.

Newcombe told milb.com in an interview that,

I always thanked God for Nashua. We had Buzzie Bavasi and Walt Alston there and an unbelievable team. We didn't have to go through what Jackie [Robinson] went through there. We had to listen to some people, but it was a great learning process.


If you visit Holman Stadium today, you will see two uniform numbers, one for Campanella, #39, and one for Newcombe, #36, to commemorate their time in the Gate City.  As if that wasn't cool enough, Holman is also on the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire because of it.

Jackie Robinson, who was signed on the same day as Campanella and Newcombe, went on to join the Brooklyn Dodgers and make his way into the Baseball Hall of Fame. His number, 42, is retired across all Major League Baseball players and cannot be worn by another.

Did you know the incredible history behind Nashua's baseball team back in the day?

Top 20 Baseball Cities in the USA (2023)

Gallery Credit: Noah Haynes

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