Elston Howard


1955 Bowman baseball card featuring New York Yankee catcher Elston Howard.

Elston Howard played Nego League baseball for the Kansas City Monarchs from 1948-1950. He signed with the New York Yankees in 1950, joining their minor league system after spending two years in Korea with the U.S. Army.

In 1955, Howard made the Yankees' roster, becoming the team's first African American player. Given the depth of New York's lineup, he found himself playing numerous positions, such as outfield, catcher and third base, rotating with other players. Eventually Howard secured the team's permanent catcher position.

With the Yankees, Howard was a 12 time All-Star, winning four World Series titles and two gold gloves. In 1963 he became the first African American to be named as the American League's Most Valuable Player. In 1967 Howard finished his career with the Boston Red Sox, where he played for two seasons.

After retirement, Howard rejoined the Yankees, serving as the team's first base coach for ten years (1969-1979) and winning two more World Series with New York. His number 34 was retired by the Yankees in 1984.

Date Made: 1955

Maker: Topps Company, Inc.Thru Person: Rinsland, GeorgeMaker: Bowman Gum Inc.

Place Made: United States: Pennsylvania, PhiladelphiaAssociated Place: United States: New York, Brooklyn

Name Of Sport Or Game: BaseballLevel Of Sport: ProfessionalSubject: African Americannegro leaguesWeb Subject: Sports


See more items in: Culture and the Arts: Sport and Leisure


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: CL.310547.032.854Catalog Number: 310547.32.854Accession Number: 310547

Object Name: Card, Baseball

Physical Description: paper (overall material)Measurements: overall: 2 1/2 in x 3 3/4 in; 6.35 cm x 9.525 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ac-3339-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_671688

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.