Joe Black spent a season in the minors before the Brooklyn Dodgers promoted him to the major leagues in 1952, five years after teammate Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier. He was dominant out of the bullpen, chosen Rookie of the Year after winning 15 games and saving 15 others for the National League champions. He had a 2.15 ERA but, with 142 innings pitched, fell eight innings short of winning the title. Strapped for pitching, Dodgers manager Chuck Dressen brought Black out of the bullpen and started him three times in seven days in the 1952 World Series against the New York Yankees. He won Game 1, becoming the first black pitcher to win a World Series game, with a six-hitter over Allie Reynolds.
Did you know that the 2007 Joe Black MVP Award winner, Sam Fuld, also won the 2007 Darnell Stenson Sportsmanship Award which is also presented in the Arizona Fall League (AFL) making him the first and only player to do so in AFL history?
The Joe Black MVP Award is determined (voted upon) by the managing and coaching staff from each of the six Arizona Fall League teams.